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Hastings lifeboat station has welcomed its brand-new Shannon class all-weather lifeboat which is kitted out with the very best in marine equipment, including Class 50 DuroWipers.

The Richard and Caroline Colton is the latest to join the RNLI’s fleet and boasts 50% more speed than the Mersey class lifeboat previously stationed at Hastings.

“The wipers come with a ten-year guarantee which makes them maintenance free”, said Noel Gould, owner, DuroWipers.

“That’s how confident we are in the strength of our wipers and although it doesn’t do us any favours when it comes to future servicing and maintenance, it’s in new business where we do so well. The wipers’ reputation speaks for itself.”

DuroWipers originally secured the contract to supply 57 RNLI vessels, including the new Shannon class lifeboats, with wiper systems back in 2012.

This vessel is the third new Shannon class to be kitted out by DuroWipers in 2018.

In April, the newbuild Barbara Anne lifeboat went into service at Lytham St Annes and in May, the £2.2m Humfrey Berkeley 13-25 went into service out of Leverburgh equipped with the same top quality wipers.

The Shannon class is the first modern all-weather lifeboat propelled by waterjets instead of propellers, making it the most agile and manoeuvrable all-weather lifeboat in the RNLI fleet.

Measuring just over 13m in length and weighing in at 18 tonnes, the Shannon is the smallest and lightest of current all-weather lifeboats. It can be launched straight off the beach via a new and improved Shannon Launch and Recovery System (SLARS), which will also be used at Hastings.

The new vessel Richard and Caroline Colton is named after the late Mr Richard Colton of Wellingborough and his late wife Caroline Colton.

Throughout his lifetime, Mr Colton was a supporter of the RNLI and when he passed away in March 2015, he left an extraordinary legacy to the RNLI comprising of two of the world’s rarest Ferraris.

The classic cars were sold at auction for an impressive £8.5 million – the most valuable items ever left to the RNLI – and the money was used to fund the new Hastings lifeboat.

Richard Colton’s legacy is also funding the new Shannon launch and recovery rig for Hastings, which will be named Richard and Mark Colton, after his late son Mark.

The current Mersey lifeboat Sealink Endeavour will stay operational at Hastings, being used for all call-outs, until the crew have been fully trained and passed out as competent to handle the new vessel. At this point the Mersey vessel will be retired.

Expect more to come from DuroWipers as more new Shannon class lifeboats are launched in 2019.

Away from the RNLI, DuroWipers also counts The Royal Navy, DFDS Ferries, Wightlink, Red Funnel, P&O, Damen, the Colombian navy and Norwegian operator Umoe Mandal, as previously satisfied customers.

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