The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. There is a lifeboat on St.Mary's which is a severn class measuring 17 metres, weighing 41 tonnes and can travel upto 25 knots. It carries a powered Y boat that can be launched and recovered by a lightweight crane to enable rescues close to shore. Its propellers are protected so it can take ground without damage.
All RNLI all-weather lifeboats are inherently self righting and undergo a rigorous righting trial before joining the fleet. Should an all-weather lifeboat be knocked over in extreme weather, it will automatically right itself within a few seconds. High-tech equipment on board includes a laser chart plotter, direction finder, echo sounder and CCTV. Two separate cabins can carry twelve survivors with room to store 4 stretchers. Many more survivors could be carried on deck.
The lifeboat carries 7 crew, or 6 with a doctor. This team are made up from 20 local crew, and it is the first 6 or 7 men who respond to the call that attend the incident. The Lifeboat crewmen are volunteers and most have full time employment locally, many already involved in boating, or engineering and mechanics. Members of crew are alerted by pager and must dash to the station and dress in their all weather clothing. All weather lifeboat crew kit includes yellow waterproof trousers and jacket, yellow wellies, lifejacket and helmet.
St.Mary's station has a remarkable history of bravery with 56 awards for gallantry being presented to the crews. The institution is reliant on fundraising and donations so please visit the RNLI shop on St.Mary's.