A faster lifeboat with enhanced radar capabilities is set to enter service at one of Cork’s busiest RNLI stations this week thanks to a donation from an anonymous benefactor.

Crosshaven RNLI crew, which patrols the busy Cork Harbour area, have begun training on their new Atlantic 85 class vessel which arrived on Monday from the RNLI’s lifeboat centre in Cowes, in England.

It was provided with one condition from the benefactor — that it be named the John and Janet.

The four-person lifeboat will replace the old three-person vessel, the Atlantic 75 class Miss Betty, which will be returned to the UK to become part of the RNLI’s relief fleet.

The 7.3-metre Miss Betty has been based in Crosshaven since 2002, just two years after the lifeboat station was established in the harbour village on a trial basis, and a year after the lifeboat station was declared a permanent facility.

The station is now one of the busiest in Ireland, launching 42 times last year, saving 50 lives, with up to a fifth of their call-out time on the water spent operating in darkness.

The crew are now undergoing an intensive four-day training programme on board their new vessel, which is due to enter service on Friday.

Atlantic class lifeboats usually operate closer to shore than all-weather lifeboats, in shallower water, close to cliffs, among rocks and even in caves.

At 8.5-metres in length, the new vessel is longer and more powerful than Miss Betty which had a top speed of 31 knots and an operating limit of three hours.

Powered by two inversion proofed 115hp engines, which stay operational even after capsize, John and Janet has a top speed of 34 knots and has a manually operated self-righting mechanism.

Atlantic 85s have stronger hulls which allow them to be beached in an emergency without sustaining damage to engines or steering gear.

The new lifeboat will be officially dedicated and named at a ceremony on September 11.


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