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Out with the old and in with the new at the Mumbles RNLI - Mumbles RNLI Tyne class lifeboat Babs & Agnes Robertson with the station's new Tamar class lifeboat Roy Barker IV.
his week marks a historic occasion for the Mumbles RNLI as the volunteer crew bid a fond farewell to the station’s much-loved Tyne class lifeboat Babs & Agnes Robertson.

The RNLI crew are also filled with excitement as the modern new Tamar class lifeboat officially becomes operational on Friday. The crew will have a double cause for celebration as work on the new Mumbles RNLI boathouse is completed.

Later this week, the volunteer crew will be hard at work undertaking extensive training on board the Tamar, which had been berthed at Swansea Marina since her arrival in October.

The modern lifeboat has been funded by the Roy Barker Memorial Fund and will be named RNLB Roy Barker IV at a ceremony in March. Mr Frederick Roy Barker of Jersey died in 1992 and bequeathed his whole estate to the RNLI, with the request that the monies received form a fund to be known as the Roy Barker Memorial Fund. Income from the fund is to be used to meet the cost of lifeboats.

Although work to construct the new station is now complete, renovation work to the pier means public access to the boathouse will not be permitted for the foreseeable future. The RNLI charity is receiving tremendous support towards its £136,000 community fundraising appeal, with £85,000 already raised.

With the arrival of Tamar and completion of the boathouse, the RNLI is still urging the community to back the appeal which will continue to run until September. The charity thanks the community for is generous support to date.

Dave Nicholl, RNLI Area Manager for South West and Wales says:

‘The support we have received from the people of south Wales has been fantastic, from people putting their spare change into collection boxes to those taking part in events, every penny is so very much appreciated. With the arrival of the Tamar, which will now be housed in its new home, the RNLI will continue fundraising towards the appeal over the next few months.’

The Mumbles Tamar is of huge significance to the RNLI charity as it will be the completion of the roll out of four new Tamars in Wales. The modern new lifeboats have already replaced Tyne class lifeboats stationed at Porthdinllaen, Moelfre and St Davids.

The Tamar features the latest technology to enhance its lifesaving capabilities. Compared to the Tyne class lifeboat, the Tamar is bigger – 16 metres as opposed to 14 – and has a faster response time, with a speed of 25, rather than 17 knots.

The Tamar includes the computerised Systems and Information Management System (SIMS) that enables crew to control many of the lifeboat's functions remotely from the safety of their seats. Other features include advanced ergonomics that reduce the impact on the crew as the lifeboat encounters rough seas, and a powered inflatable rescue tender stored behind a hydraulic transom door to allow immediate deployment.

The Tamar at the Mumbles will be the fourth lifeboat funded from the Memorial Fund; the other lifeboats are already saving lives off the coasts of Alderney, Wick and Howth.

To donate to the RNLI appeal, text mumbles3 or mumbles5 to 70500 to donate £3 or £5.

Credit: RNLI/Nicholas Leach
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