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Just in time

A new inshore rescue RIB has arrived in Jersey, courtesy of Berthon, just in time for the demanding summer season.

Following sea trials aboard a standard Gemini WR880, the Jersey Lifeboat Association (JLA) confirmed its intent to purchase a WR880 having been impressed with the vessel’s outstanding sea-keeping abilities and Gemini’s proven operational track record. The Gemini vessel is custom-made to accommodate detailed specs from JLA.

Berthon said in a statement, “The Berthon Gemini team worked for many hours to design a platform to house the extensive suite of on-board electronics that will assist the JLA crew in locating and rescuing persons, including; radar, remote-controlled searchlights, DF Antenna and two FLIR cameras.”

Twin Mercury 225hp outboard motors, give a top operational speed of 50+ knots, supplied by two 300 litre long-range fuel tanks. The advanced water ballast system guarantees the stability through rough sea states.

The RIB is also fitted with the latest shock mitigation seating from Shoxs. As well as keeping the crew comfortable, this advanced seating mitigates whole-body vibration, enabling the crew to arrive at the casualty, ready to assist, rather than suffering the effects of a debilitating rough ride.

In a statement, Andy Hibbs, coxswain of the JLA, paid tribute to the generous donors who have made the new delivery possible saying, “As a Jersey charity, it is incredible to be able to fund this new RIB purely through local donations, particularly given the pandemic. The vessel will be a fantastic asset for the station, crew and all those that use Jersey waters”.

Ben Slater, Project Manager at Berthon RIB Solutions, commented, 'It is a privilege to have the opportunity to work with JLA in the build of their new rescue RIB. The boat is designed from the ground up, learning from all of the features found on other similar craft resulting in a highly capable life-saving platform. I can't wait to see the vessel on-station, looking after all seafarers in Jersey.'

The newest rescue RIB in the British Isles will enable the JLA to carry out quick inshore work as well as have a larger operational range, complementing the JLA’s existing Tyne Class Lifeboat.

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