The latest Valentine Class lifeboat going into operation for the Royal Dutch Rescue Society (KNRM) has completed its tilt testing in order to check its righting ability.

Edith Grondel has a self-righting capability up to 140 degrees and is also equipped with an inflatable airbag.

This means that if the ship reversed 180 degrees and came to lie in the water upside down, the crew can activate the 'airbag' by pulling on a rope, so that the ship rights itself.

The Valentine lifeboat was built by Habbeké Shipyards from Hoorn (formerly Volendam). It weighs 10 tonnes, measures 4 by 10m, has a maximum speed of 37 knots, has a crew of four people and has a capacity of 50 people rescued. Its drive consists of two 430 hp engines that drive the water jets.

It will replace the old lifeboat Katwijk aan Zee which will move over to the reserve fleet. Reserve Boats are used as operational lifeboats in service.

By Anne-Marie Causer