20th February 2020
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

New Aith lifeboat equipment will help crew rescue people at sea

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Crew onboard the Aith lifeboat will be able to locate people in need of rescue at sea more easily with the help of new equipment.

The RNLI Charles Lidbury has returned home – after being fitted with new navigation and communication systems in Inverness, as part of a move to modernise its on-board systems.

This upgrade will make it easier for the volunteer crew onboard to locate people at sea.

Crew members volunteered their own time to take the lifeboat to Inverness, and also helped to carry out the return passage once the refit was completed.

Aith lifeboat RNLI Charles Lidbury in Inverness for electronics upgrade (Photo: John Robertson).

The equipment was installed by a team of RNLI engineers, with electrical work (mainly based in the wheelhouse of the vessel) improving the radar, direction finding and VHF capabilities.

RNLI mechanic John Robertson stayed away with the vessel for the 2 week duration of the overhaul.

The Aith Lifeboat had a major engine upgrade in 2017. 

“Now, having introduced more modern electronic systems, we’re confident that we are as well equipped as possible to help save lives at sea. 

“The considerable cost of these upgrades demonstrate just how important fundraising is to our lifeboat operations, so a huge thank you to all of our fantastic supporters, and to the RNLI technicians who carried out the refit to such a high standard.”

The ship’s hull was also cleaned, a job that involved lifting the 17 meter lifeboat out of the water by crane.

Aith Lifeboat station was supported by the RNLI with a relief lifeboat, ensuring that the station’s search and rescue capabilities were not reduced while the Charles Lidbury was away from base.

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