Cox's with PPL's?


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29 Jun 2001
Home Shropshire 6/12; boat Greece 6/12
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Cox\'s with PPL\'s?

The UK's Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) has started field trials at five lifeboat stations of a number of 7.6-metre hovercraft.
The six-seater craft have already been tested over a variety of terrains and in different conditions at RNLI headquarters in Poole, Dorset, and are now being handed over to experienced volunteer lifeboat crews. Their comments will help the RNLI project team decide if hovercraft could have a practical use in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland.
The test locations are in areas where a boat can't be used, such as over sand or mud flats.
Project managers Hugh Fogarty and Tony Stankus, commented, "The hovercraft showed that it could withstand damage, was easy to prepare for launch, worked well over sand and mud and crew training was comparable to that undertaken by inshore lifeboat crews."
The Griffon 450TD hovercraft does have limitations, said the RNLI.
The craft can only carry 450 kilograms, can't work on porous surfaces and are restricted to wind speeds of less than 25 knots and wave heights of less than 600 millimetres.
Following the sea trials, a report will be submitted in November. If the RNLI decides to include hovercraft in its rescue fleet, they will be used in addition to traditional RNLI lifeboats.

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