The tall ship Tenacious sailed from Dartmouth last week, and the occasion was used to conduct an RNLI training exercise.
At 27.5m tall and 54m long, Tenacious is the largest wooden tall ship of its kind. Her crew was made up of cadets from the University’s Royal Naval units when she visited port on 24 May. The vessel is managed by the Jubilee Sailing Trust and has a permanent crew of nine, with room for up to 44 trainees on board. She has been adapted to be wheelchair accessible and also features a talking compass for blind crews, as well as state-of-the-art navigation instruments. No paper map is required.
An RNLI spokesperson said: ‘The crew disembarked at Dartmouth and visited the Dart RNLI Lifeboat Station for a tour and to learn more about being a volunteer crew member of a lifeboat. They watched videos of some recent rescues, including the whale at Blackpool Sands and large vessel rescues with local all-weather lifeboats from Torbay and Salcombe.
“They then toured Dart’s two boats: the D-Class, a five-meter inshore lifeboat kept in the boathouse on Thomas the Tractor’s trailer, and the Atlantic, an inshore lifeboat of 8.5 meters moored on an aqua-dock. at the end of the pedestrian pontoon. The Tenacious crew asked a lot of questions and I hope we inspired future Lifeboat crews. Later that day, Tenacious set out from Dartmouth, en route to Alderney.
The spokesman said the RNLI used the visit to conduct a training exercise.
They said: ‘The Atlantic Class B, led by Captain Rich Eggleton, came alongside Tenacious beyond the mouth of the river to practice a crew transfer. Maintaining the same constant speed as the tall ship of around 3.5 knots, they kept the lifeboat close enough to Tenacious for trainee crew member Tatty Pettigrew to climb the ship’s ladder and onto the bridge.
“In a real-life scenario, the lifeboat might have to do this if there was a medical emergency on board and we needed to get a trained first aider onto the ship. Tatty was greeted by the crew, whom she had met earlier on the lifeboat station tour, and given a quick tour of their helm and navigation station. She then climbed back down the ladder to join the lifeboat.
“The crew of Tenacious bid farewell as the lifeboat crew returned to Dartmouth to complete their training exercise and Tenacious disappeared over the horizon on their way to Alderney.”