New Shannon class lifeboats, which are replacing Mersey and Tyne class lifeboats around the coast, are now on station at Dungeness, Lowestoft, Exmouth, Hoylake and Lough Swilly, with further boats due this year at Ilfracombe, Montrose, St Ives and Swanage. There are two Relief boats available with a third also due late in 2015. Construction of Shannon class lifeboats is in the process of moving to the RNLI's new All-Weather Lifeboat Centre in Poole.
Preparatory work and fund-raising to bring a Shannon class to Wells-next-the-Sea also continues. In addition to the station's appeal, it has been announced that The Lifeboat Fund charity will be contributing significantly to the boat's cost over the next 2-3 years with its 150th Anniversary Appeal. Work has also started on planning and obtaining permissions for a new boathouse to house the new vessel, which, on its launching carriage, will be too big for the current building.
Originally expected in late 2016, it is now looking likely that the Shannon will not arrive in Wells until the Summer of 2017. The station's present all-weather lifeboat, Mersey class 12-003 Doris M Mann of Ampthill will be going away for a minor refit this summer to ensure that she remains in first-class condition and ready for duty in the meantime.