Atlantic 85 B-899 Howard Bell Now On Service

Happisburgh R.N.L.I. Lifeboat Station volunteers have moved into the 21st century with the arrival of a new Atlantic 85 on station this week. All the volunteers have been working hard to get up to speed with the operation of this new boat.

There have been 3 Atlantic 75 lifeboats at Happisburgh since the first arrived in 2009; with the arrival of this brand new Atlantic 85, which has larger engines, is longer and wider than the 75, has radar and DF (see console photos) and carries a fourth crew member, it is well equipped to enable our crews to carry out rescues at sea more effectively.

This Atlantic 85 Number B-899 is named Howard Bell; who was part of the RNLI in Harwich and is the main benefactor for this boat.

The boat arrived at Happisburgh on Monday 8th May after travelling from Cowes in the Isle of Wight, where it was built. The first day the crew familiarised themselves with the boat’s lay-out and equipment, then on the Tuesday was the first chance to take the boat to sea with our RNLI Inspector on board to train the helm and crew, along with shore crew, on the safe operation of the boat and equipment. The boat was launched on both Tuesday and Wednesday and recovered three times each day, then on Thursday it launched five times so all five helm could be assessed. Once all the helms were assessed the new boat was fully equipped and placed on service at 8:30pm on the 11th May 2017.

Joan Mary, our Atlantic 75, will go into the Relief Fleet once it leaves Happisburgh.

Tim Grimmer, senior helm at Happisburgh said “the crew have got used to the new boat and think it’s great and will allow them to, hopefully, save more lives at sea; it will also help to train our six new crew members”

Howard Bell will be officially named later in the year, once Happisburgh has had its New D class boat in August.