|Operators:||Royal National Lifeboat Institution|
|Displacement:||40 t (39 long tons)|
|Length:||17 m (55 ft 9 in)|
|Beam:||5.5 m (18 ft 1 in)|
|Draught:||1.38 m (4 ft 6 in)|
|Propulsion:||2 × Caterpillar 3412 TA diesel engines, 1,250 hp (932 kW) each
UBW 195 V reserve-reduction gearbox 2.03:1 ratio
5,500 litre (1,200 imperial gallons) fuel capacity
|Speed:||25 knots (29 mph; 46 km/h)|
|Range:||250 nmi (460 km)|
|Capacity:||Self Righting 47
Non-Self Righting 185
At 17 metres (55 ft 9 in) long, the Severn class lifeboat is the largest lifeboat operated by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI). Introduced to service in 1996, the class is named after the River Severn, the longest river in Great Britain. They are stationed at 35 locations around the coasts of the United Kingdom and Ireland to provide coverage up to 50 miles (80 km) out to sea.
In the 1980s the RNLI's fast Arun and Waveney all-weather lifeboats provided coverage 30 miles (48 km) out to sea, operating at up to 18 knots (33 km/h) to cover the distance in two hours in good weather. However the RNLI felt that they needed the capability to extend their coverage to 50 miles (80 km) radius which would require lifeboats with a top speed of 25 knots (46 km/h). This resulted in the 17m Severn and 14 metres (46 ft) Trent lifeboats.
The prototype Severn was launched in 1991 and was named Maurice and Joyce Hardy. Trials started the following year and lasted until 1998. Problems were encountered during these with the 'skegs' that protected the propellers but were designed to protect the hull by breaking off if the boat hit rocks, as the first ones were too easily broken. Crashing through heavy seas at full speed caused damage to the hull too. It was transferred to training work when it carried operational number TR02, but was withdrawn in 1998 by which time its name had been changed to Peter & Marion Fulton. It was sold in 2005; in 2008 it was in use as a dive boat at Buckie, carrying the name Gemini Storm.
The first production Severn was The Will. It had been built in 1995 for Stornoway but had to undergo several modifications before it was fit for service. It was eventually placed in the relief fleet in 1996 and shown to many lifeboat stations where the class was expected to be deployed. It so impressed the crew at Falmouth that they pressed the RNLI to station it there until their own boat was built, and so it was stationed there from January 1997 until December 2001 when it was replaced by Richard Scott Cox. In the mean time Tom Sanderson had been deployed at Stornoway in 1999. The Will returned to the relief fleet after its time at Falmouth and has continued in that role since. Construction of its sister boats continued until 2005.
Severns are constructed of fibre reinforced composite material, and their hard chine semi-displacement hull is built so that it will stay afloat with two of its five compartments flooded. For added manoeuvrability, in addition to twin engines, the Severn also has a bow thruster fitted. The propellers are enclosed so that the Severn can take ground without damaging them. A Y Class inflatable boat can be deployed by an on-board crane for use in shallow water or confined spaces.
Severns have comprehensive electronics systems that include full MF and VHF DSC radio equipment, DGPS Navigator, an electronic chart system, VHF/DF, radar and weather sensors. Provision for survivors includes comprehensive first aid equipment including stretchers, oxygen and Entonox. They carry a portable salvage pump in a water-tight container, and can also carry out pumping and fire-fighting tasks using the engine-driven general service pump.
|ON||Op. No.||Name||In service||Station||Comments|
|1179||17-01||Maurice and Joyce Hardy||1992–1998||Relief fleet (Training)||Sold in 2005. Now named Gemini Storm|
|1201||17-02||The Will||1996–||Relief fleet|
|1203||17-04||Spirit of Guernsey||1997–||St Peter Port|
|1216||17-05||Pride of the Humber||1997–||Humber|
|1217||17-06||David Kirkaldy||1997–||Aran Islands|
|1218||17-07||John and Margaret Doig||1996–||Valentia|
|1219||17-08||Helmut Schroder of Dunlossit II||1997–||Islay|
|1220||17-09||City of London II||1997–||Dover|
|1221||17-10||Michael and Jane Vernon||1997–||Lerwick|
|1229||17-11||The Whiteheads||1997–||St Mary's|
|1230||17-12||Edna Windsor||1998–||Barra Island|
|1235||17-15||Bryan and Gordon||1998–||Ballyglass|
|1236||17-16||Violet Dorothy and Kathleen||1998–||Stromness|
|1237||17-17||Fraser Flyer (Civil Service No. 43)||1999–||Relief fleet|
|1241||17-19||Ernest and Mary Shaw||1999–||Campbeltown|
|1242||17-20||Spirit of Northumberland||1999–||Tynemouth|
|1243||17-21||David and Elizabeth Acland||1999–||Newhaven|
|1247||17-23||Katie Hannan||2000–2008||Portrush||Damaged beyond economic repair after grounding on Rathlin Island|
|1249||17-25||Eric and Susan Hiscock (Wanderer)||2001–||Yarmouth|
|1250||17-26||Henry Alston Hewat||2001–||Mallaig|
|1254||17-27||Volunteer Spirit||2001–||Relief fleet|
|1255||17-28||Alec and Christina Dykes||2001–||Torbay|
|1256||17-29||Richard Cox Scott||2001–||Falmouth|
|1257||17-30||William Gordon Burr||2002–2008
|1260||17-31||Roger and Joy Freeman||2002–||Relief fleet|
|1261||17-32||Ernest and Mabel||2002–||Weymouth|
|1262||17-33||Beth Sell||2002–||Relief fleet|
|1264||17-35||Sybil Mullen Glover||2003–||Plymouth|
|1269||17-38||Daniel L Gibson||2003–||Relief fleet|
|1270||17-39||Elizabeth Fairlie Ramsey||2003–||Tobermory|
|1271||17-40||Julian and Margaret Leonard||2003–||Lochinver|
|1276||17-43||Donald and Barbara Broadhead||2004–||Rosslare Harbour|
|1278||17-45||The Duke of Kent||2005–||Relief fleet|
|1279||17-46||Margaret Joan and Fred Nye||2004–||Relief fleet|
'ON' is the RNLI's Official Number; 'Op. No.' Is the operational number carried on the hull. Stations given correct in 2009 unless otherwise stated.
- Wake-Walker, Edward (2008). The Lifeboats Story. Stroud: Sutton Publishing. pp. 59–72. ISBN 978-0-7509-4858-6.
- Denton, Tony (2009). Handbook 2009. Shrewsbury: Lifeboat Enthusiasts Society. pp. 32–35.
- Kipling, Ray; Kipling, Susannah (2006). Never Turn Back. Stroud: Sutton Publishing. pp. 92–93. ISBN 978-0-7524-9596-5.
- Morris, Jeff (2002). The History of the Falmouth Lifeboats (2nd ed.). Coventry: Lifeboat Enthusiast's Society. pp. 30–40.
- "Severn Class Lifeboat Information". RNLI. Retrieved 2 September 2013.
- Wake-Walker, Edward (2008). The Lifeboats Story. Stroud: Sutton Publishing. pp. 110–111. ISBN 978-0-7509-4858-6.
- "Permanent replacement lifeboat for Portrush". Portrush Lifeboat Station. 18 April 2008. Retrieved 2 September 2013.
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