Thumbs up for Lyme’s new lifeboat

Crew take their new �180,000 vessel - Spirit of Loch Fyne - on her maiden voyage

Lyme Regis’ new lifeboat got the thumbs-up from her crew when she sailed into the resort on Saturday.

The �180,000 vessel, called Spirit of Loch Fyne after the restaurant chain that raised the funds to build her, sailed from RNLI headquarters in Poole on her maiden voyage.

The boat is an Atlantic 85 class fitted with the latest technology including radar and direction finding equipment. She carries a crew of four and has a top speed of 35knots.

On board were three of the Lyme Regis’ volunteer crew members – Mark Colley, Jon Broome and Mark Gage – and training divisional inspector Tom Mansell.

The three-and-a-half hour, 60 mile trip was used for training and familiarisation for the crew.

Jon Broome, said: ”The new boat is very different from the old one, and she handled extremely well. Conditions were pretty lumpy so it was a good test for the boat and the crew.

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“We often reached a speed of 30knots, and because it was a long time at sea the training element for us was invaluable.”

Keeping with local tradition the old boat – Pearl of Dorset – was launched to join the new vessel on the last leg of her journey into the harbour.

Pearl of Dorset, which has served Lyme ‘Regis for nearly 15 years, was sailed to Poole and retirement today (Sunday) when the new lifeboat officially replaced her.