Once there it will take centre stage at an exhibition in the famous De La Warr Pavilion. The prototype craft arrived in Dartmouth in the afternoon of 28 June, having travelled from Falmouth at an average speed of 17 knots and was met by the Dart RNLI inshore lifeboat. The RIB left the following day to proceed to Bridport.
When Admiral Desmond Hoare designed the revolutionary craft with his small team of Atlantic College students in the 1960’s, he could never have guessed the boat would lead to the launch of countless similar vessels throughout the world, saving hundreds of thousands of lives.
The college sold the patent for the ‘RIB’ design to the RNLI for £1, which led to the development of inshore lifeboats around the UK, naval rescue boats throughout the world and highly sophisticated racing craft.
The RIB is often the first boat on the scene at natural disasters worldwide. It is one of the most successful boats in sea faring history. It is also a familiar sight in Hollywood movies such as the recent Captain Phillips.
The RNLI went on from this design to develop the B class (Atlantic 21, 75 and 85) Students from Atlantic College manned a successful RNLI station for many years.
Now Atlantic College hopes to be pioneers in the field of water rescue once again by designing the most effective flood rescue vessel in existence. They aim to kick-start this project with funds raised by this historic voyage. “With the increase of risk from flooding, globally we are seeing a greater need for expertise in the search and rescue of people affected,” said Robin Jenkins, RNLI crew member and curator of the exhibition.
This expedition is taking place between the 25th of June and the 5th of July covering 550 miles of the South West English coastline. This 4 metre-long boat will carry two members of crew, flanked by a fibreglass copy of the original. On arrival at Bexhill by Sea, a celebration will take place to mark the beginning of the exhibition at De La Warr Pavilion where the boat will be the main attraction, alongside a history of the Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat.
The information for this press release was mainly derived from the Atlantic College press release issued by Robin Jenkins to accompany the voyage.