Tyne & Wear

Newcastle University scientists to redesign RNLI lifeboats

RNLI lifeboats Image copyright RNLI
Image caption The RNLI has 130 all-weather lifeboats in service

Scientists from Newcastle University have been drafted in to help design the next generation of lifeboats.

The four-year project for the RNLI has been prompted by the need for faster vessels that can operate in more extreme weather conditions.

A team from the university's School of Marine Science and Technology will lead the study.

The charity currently has 130 all-weather rescue boats in operation throughout the UK.

Richard Birmingham, professor of small craft design at the university, said: "Designing a boat that is capable of travelling safely at greater speed and under the most extreme conditions, means a better response to emergency call-outs and less transit time to reach the casualty."

Holly Phillips, naval architect at the RNLI, added: "The ability of the crew to operate safely and efficiently has always been one of our major design drivers.

"We expect the design improvements will increase the performance of the crafts as well as the safety of our crews."

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