Launch and Recovery System (LRS) acts like a mobile slipway for the Shannon lifeboat, and it can be driven directly onto the beach for recovery.
Weighing in at 37 tonnes, the rig can carry an 18-tonne Shannon over any kind of beach that and can drive straight into big surf and safely launch the lifeboat in up to 2.4m of water. Not only that but, in the event of breakdown with an incoming tide, the watertight tractor can be completely submerged in depths of up to 9m before being retrieved once the tide has receded.
But in calm conditions, the tractor doesn’t even have to get wet, its hydraulic carriage tilts to allow the lifeboat to run down the slope into the water. The lifeboat is launched at the touch of a button and the whole system requires less manual handling by shore crew volunteers, making for a safer and more efficient launch and recovery
Then comes the really clever bit … When it’s time to recover, the beached lifeboat is winched bow first onto the tractor’s unique turntable cradle, and is then rotated 180º, ready to be launched again within 10 minutes, much faster than the launch and recovery system for Hastings existing Mersey class all-weather lifeboat – which takes on average 25 minutes.