Shannon Class Lifeboat 13-06
RNLB 'Edmund Hawthorn Micklewood'

Hoylake's Shannon class lifeboat 13-06 RNLB 'Edmund Hawthorn Micklewood' went operational on 9th December 2014. The lifeboat was funded by the legacy of Paulette Micklewood and named for her father.

The Shannon is the latest class of all-weather lifeboat to join the RNLI's fleet and the first to be propelled by waterjets instead of traditional propellers. It is designed to be launched and recovered from the beach via a Supacat launch and recovery system, but she can also lie afloat.

Designed to revolutionise how the RNLI saves lives at sea, the Shannon is 50 per cent faster than the Mersey Class "Lady of Hilbre" that she replaced, with a top speed of 25 knots. The Shannon is propelled by waterjets, making it the most agile and manoeuvrable all-weather lifeboat (ALB) in the RNLI's fleet. Waterjets allow the vessel to operate in shallow waters and be intentionally beached.

Measuring just 13m in length and weighing in at 18 tonnes, the Shannon is the smallest and lightest ALB, meaning it can be launched straight off the beach via its bespoke launch and recovery system. The Shannon's unique hull is designed to minimise slamming of the boat in heavy seas, and shock-absorbing seats further protect the crew from impact when powering through the waves.

An improved Systems and Information Management System (SIMS) allows the crew to operate and monitor many of the lifeboat's functions from the safety of five of the six seats. As with all ALBs, the Shannon is designed to be inherently self-righting, returning to an upright position in the event of capsize.

Designed in conjunction with Supacat Ltd, the tractor-borne carriage allows a faster and safer launch and recovery time than the previous Mersey system. It operates as a mobile slipway, which solves the unique challenge of transporting, launching and recovering the Shannon across almost 2 miles of Hoylake beach.

After being recovered from the beach bow first, a turntable in the carriage rotates the Shannon ready for its next launch, meaning casualties can be reached sooner and our launching crews are better protected.

Although the Shannon class lifeboat is expected to have an operational lifetime of 25 years, the life expectancy of the Shannon's hull and wheelhouse is 50 years. After 25 years of service, each Shannon lifeboat will undergo a total refit where the machinery, systems and equipment will be renewed or replaced and the hull and wheelhouse reused – creating a new Shannon class lifeboat ready to save lives at sea for a further 25 years.  

Find out more on the RNLI website.

Hoylake Lifeboat, Crew and Officials 

Date introduced: 2013​
Launch type: Carriage or afloat​
Crew: 6 (including doctor)​​
Length: Overall 13.6                                                                           Waterline 11.6m​​
Beam / width: 4.5m​
Draught / depth: 1m​
Displacement: 18 tonnes (maximum)​
Maximum speed: 25 knots​
Fuel capacity: Approximately 1,200 litres in each tank
Range / endurance: 250 nautical miles​
Construction: Fibre-reinforced plastic​
2 x 13-litre 650hp Scania D13 engines
Twin Hamilton HJ364 waterjets​
Survivor capacity:
Self-righting – 6 seated + 17 standing inside
Non self-righting – 79​