Oldest RIB in existence on display at Seawork

Atlantic Pacific lifeboat in action

Atlantic Pacific, a charity based in London and at UWC Atlantic College in South Wales, is bringing Naomi (X Alpha), which is the oldest RIB in existence, and an Atlantic Pacific boat to safeguard the Cardboard Boat Regatta, taking place during the Seawork 4th July celebrations.

Initially conceived by the Atlantic College’s first Principal, Rear-Admiral Desmond Hoare, the early RIB X craft were built and test-driven along the dramatic Bristol Channel coastline by Atlantic College students. Now known as the Atlantic Class, the design (which developed from the original ‘X Alpha’ prototype), revolutionised maritime rescue worldwide and became the model for RNLI inshore boats across Britain.

The RIB became the world’s most widely used craft for inshore rescue, making it a clear winner for the Institution of Mechanical Engineers’ Engineering Heritage Award.  The Awards recognise irreplaceable artefacts to celebrate and raise public awareness for the vital role mechanical engineering plays in modern life.

Carolyn Griffiths, President of The Institution of Mechanical Engineers, said: “This award celebrates the amazing achievements of Rear-Admiral Desmond Hoare, the students who built and tested the boat as well as UWC Atlantic College for maintaining this boat in such great condition.”

Atlantic Pacific is a not-for-profit NGO with a simple purpose: to provide lifeboats where there are none. The charity works with local communities and organisations all over the world, to supply bespoke rescue boats, mobile lifeboat stations and highly trained volunteer crew to places that lack a provision for water rescue. It operates regardless of political context, out of a universal respect for human life.

The charity’s projects over the past 18 months have taken it to northern Japan, Greece and the coast of Libya. The team has worked in areas vulnerable to flooding and natural disasters, providing Atlantic Pacific Lifeboat in a Box stations, along with crew, training and boat-building expertise.

As well as establishing preventative rescue services, Atlantic Pacific is also responsive; its lifeboats and volunteer crew can be deployed quickly to assist in situations where life is threatened and a provision for rescue is urgently required.

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