£1million launch and recovery vehicle begins training exercises in North Devon

The new Ilfracombe lifeboat launch and recovery vehicle has been spotted being put through its paces on Instow beach.

Ilfracombe RNLI has confirmed the £1m state-of-the-art vehicle is the one which will be based in the town for launching the new Shannon class all weather lifeboat when it arrives in June.

The volunteer head launchers and tractor drivers have been busy training on the new equipment at Instow over the past few days.

Ilfracombe RNLI has hit its £150,000 target for the vehicle thanks to widespread community support.

Training will continue when the vehicle is moved to Ilfracombe.

The Shannon class being used in the exercises is an RNLI relief boat, the Jock and Annie Slater.

Ilfracombe’s new lifeboat, the Barry and Peggy High Foundation, will replace the existing 25 year old Mersey class when it arrives in the town on Saturday, June 6 at around 1pm.

The naming and dedication ceremony will be held on Friday, June 26.

The new Shannon class boats are powered by water jets and have a top speed of more than 25 knots, half again as fast as the boat it replaces.

The new arrivals will follow on the heels of major building work to alter and revamp Ilfracombe lifeboat Station to accommodate them.