RNLB 17-05 Pride of the Humber Lifeboat at Dover Lifeboat Station, Kent, UK

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John Latter on May 1, 2011

The North Sea Severn-class Lifeboat, RNLB 17-05 Pride of the Humber, moored to a floating pontoon against the Crosswall Quay of Dover's Tidal Harbour and Marina at 7.52 am on Friday, the 29th of April, 2011.

The building on top of the quay (on the other side of which is the non-tidal Granville Dock) is the Dover Lifeboat Station (1). Information about the Dover Lifeboat astern of the Pride of the Humber can be found on the RNLB 17-09 City of London II, Lifeboat Station, Crosswall Quay photo webpage.

The Pride of the Humber arrived in Dover Harbour the day before en route from the Humber Lifeboat Station at Spurn Point (East Riding of Yorkshire) to Cowes (Isle of Wight).

The Humber Lifeboat Station is the only station with a full-time crew who live with their families in RNLI provided houses at Spurn Point (also called Spurn Head). The crew also includes volunteers that help with cover when needed. See the Official Humber Lifeboat Station website.

Severn-class Lifeboat (2):

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, this rescue craft class is named after the River Severn, the longest river in Great Britain. These rescue craft 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.

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 Digital Selective Calling DFS radio equipment, Differential Global Positioning System DGPS Navigator, an electronic chart system, VHF/DF (Direction Finder), radar and weather sensors. Provision for survivors includes comprehensive first aid equipment including stretchers, oxygen and Entonox (a mix of 50% nitrous oxide and 50% oxygen, a medical anaesthesia gas). 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.

Severn-class General Characteristics (2)

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

Complement: 6

The Severn class lifeboat is succeeded by the Tamar class lifeboat.

History of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (3)

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is a charity that saves lives at sea around the coasts of Great Britain, Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, as well as on selected inland waterways.

The RNLI was founded on 4 March 1824 as the National Institution for the Preservation of Life from Shipwreck by Sir William Hillary, 1st Baronet (4 January 1771 - 5 January 1847) and English soldier, author and philanthropist (4):

At a Public Meeting of Noblemen, Gentlemen, Merchants, and others, held at the City of London Tavern, this day,

His Grace the Archbishop Of Canterbury (Charles Manners-Sutton) in the Chair,

The following resolutions were passed unanimously:

I. Upon the motion of his Grace; seconded by Captain Bowles, Royal Navy - That an Institution be now formed for the Preservation of Life in cases of Shipwreck on the Coasts of the United Kingdom, to be supported by donations and annual subscriptions; and to be called the "National Institution for the Preservation of Life from Shipwreck."

II. Moved by William Wilberforce, Esq. Member of Parliament (leader of the movement to abolish the slave trade); seconded by Captain Deans Dundas, R. N. - That medallions or pecuniary rewards be given to those who rescue lives in cases of shipwreck.

III. Moved by the Lord Bishop of London; seconded by Mr. Alderman Bridges, M. P. - That such immediate assistance be afforded to persons rescued as their necessities may require.

IV. Moved by the Lord Bishop of Chester; seconded by William Manning, Esq. M. P. - That relief be supplied to the widows and families of persons who may unfortunately perish in their attempts to save the lives of others. (more)

Sir William Hillary had gone to live on the Isle of Man in 1808. Being aware of the treacherous nature of the Irish Sea, with many ships being wrecked around the Manx coast, he drew up plans for a national lifeboat service manned by trained crews. Initially he received little response from the Admiralty but on appealing to the more philanthropic members of London society, the plans were adopted with the help of two members of parliament - Thomas Wilson and George Hibbert - the National Institution for the Preservation of Life from Shipwreck came into being.

It subsequently became the National Lifeboat Institution in 1854 (with the first of the new lifeboats to be built stationed at Douglas, Isle of Man, in recognition of the work of Sir William), and then received Royal Patronage from King George IV of England and Ireland shortly after. It now operates as an international service to the peoples of the UK and Ireland and has official charity status in each nation.

A Dover Harbour photo.

Click to see all Lifeboat photos (related tags: Boats, Cruise Ships, Ferries, Navy, Sailing Ships, Ships, Tugs, and Workboats).

(1) The First Dover Lifeboat Station was in the building under the Clock Tower at the landward end of the Prince of Wales Pier.

(2) Wikipedia entry for Severn-class lifeboat (Abridged)

(3) Wikipedia entry for Royal National Lifeboat Institution

(4) An Appeal To The British Nation On The Humanity And Policy Of Forming A National Institution For The Preservation Of Lives And Property From Shipwreck, William Hillary (1825)

John Latter / Jorolat

Dover Blog: The Psychology of a Small Town

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on April 29, 2011
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by John Latter
    • Camera: PENTAX Corporation PENTAX K100D
    • Taken on 2011/04/29 07:52:05
    • Exposure: 0.003s (1/320)
    • Focal Length: 55.00mm
    • F/Stop: f/9.000
    • ISO Speed: ISO200
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • No flash