Countdown on to new Montrose Lifeboat

Work continuing on the Shannon Class boat for Montrose.
Work continuing on the Shannon Class boat for Montrose.

Members of the crew of Montrose lifeboat, with all the fund-raisers and back-up volunteers, are eagerly looking forward to August 21.

That is the date that the Lifeboat Station will take delivery of the first Shannon class lifeboat in Scotland, the RNLB Ian Grant Smith.

The state of the art vessel will eventually take over lifeboat duties from the RNLB Moonbeam, which, with her volunteer crews have given outstanding service to the area since 1989.

The funding for the RNLB Ian Grant Smith came from a £1.5m legacy from the estate of Ruth Grant Smith, who left the money to the RNLI after she died in December 2005, aged 99.

The new boat at Montrose is being named after her late husband Ian.

The Shannon-class lifeboat has been designed by RNLI naval architects and is the first to have twin water jets instead of conventional propellers.

The RNLI said the jets enabled to lifeboat to operate in shallow waters and be “highly manoeuvrable”. Water jets also reduce the risk of damage to the lifeboat damage during launch and recovery, or when it is intentionally beached.

They also give the boat a top speed of 25 knots, eight knots faster than the current boat at Montrose.

A former colleague of Mr Grant Smith at Brodies solicitors, Ronald Gardiner, said the couple had no children and were keen on supporting charities, including regular fund-raising events for the RNLI.

Linda Aitken, the RNLI’s Legacy Manager for Scotland, said: “We’re very grateful for all the gifts we are left, whether it pays for a crew member’s lifejacket, or as in this case, a lifeboat. Every legacy gift ensures the charity’s volunteers continue to save lives as safely as possible.”