Last ever Arun-class lifeboat withdrawn

The last ever Arun-class lifeboat used by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) has been withdrawn from service after 22 years on the fleet.

The Margaret Russell Fraser has been on service at Calshot since 2002, when it replaced the last ever Brede class lifeboat. It has rescued 490 people and launched 414 times during its service in the RNLI fleet. Once decomissioned, the lifeboat will be put up for sale.

RNLI Deputy Divisional Inspector Richard Weeks said: “This last Arun marks the passing of an era. They have served the RNLI extremely well and provided us with years of dependable service. When first introduced the Arun class was at the forefront of lifeboat design.”

The Arun class lifeboats introduced in 1971 have carried out 15,081 launches and rescued over 13,545 people. In 1982 the Arun class received a Design Council Award for ‘the excellence of the design’.

The Margaret Russell Fraser will be replaced by a Tyne class lifeboat, ON 1155, named the Sarah Emily Harrop, which was built in 1989, and became Lytham St Anne’s lifeboat. The crew have undergone two weeks of training on their new Tyne class lifeboat.

RNLI Calshot Lifeboat Operations Manager Brian Laughlin said: “We are delighted to receive the Tyne class. It is a newer boat, capable of 17 knots and thanks to its hull design and protected propellers means that it is better suited to our local environment of shallow waters and sandbanks.”

For more information on the RNLI, footage of rescues and sea safety advice, click here.