A little more about Atlantic College

The first generation of sea goers at Atlantic College, the design of the boat that they carry holds the DNA of the most active class of Lifeboat in the UK

Atlantic College has a number of workshops where the building and experimentation took place for the development of this amazing Lifeboat.

Notorious for being one of the toughest slipways to launch from in the UK, a line is in place to clip onto while the crew get on.

The Psychedelic Surfer, designed and built at Atlantic College and competed in the round Great Britain Race.

What the RNLI say:

Atlantic College is important in the history of the RNLI for two reasons:

1. Experimental work on the development of fast rescue boats for the RNLI was carried out at Atlantic College under the supervision of Rear Admiral Desmond Hoare, the Headmaster. He was the pioneer of the first B class Atlantic 21 lifeboat that was named after the College and entered service in the early 1970s.

2. Atlantic College was the first station to have a female helmsman and the first station at which a female crew member took part in a service (see 1969 and 1971).

1963 An inshore lifeboat station was established at the United World College of the Atlantic at St Donat’s Castle. Atlantic College was one of the first nine inshore lifeboat (ILB) stations established experimentally by the RNLI in 1963. The lifeboats were manned by the members of the staff and pupils of the College; they used their own with expenses paid by the RNLI.

1968 Letters of Appreciation were sent to G Unger, W de Vogel and P Allen in recognition of their services on 11 November when four men were rescued from the wreck of the dredger Steepholm.

1969 The first female helmsman to be accepted as qualified by the RNLI was Elizabeth Hostvedt, aged 18, from Norway.

Rear Admiral Hoare was appointed to the Committee of Management of the RNLI.

1971 The first recorded service at any station involving a female crew member took place on 20 May. Penelope M Sutton was a member of the crew when the ILB was launched to investigate a Swedish motor cruiser, reported to be at anchor and flying a distress signal. The incident was a false alarm, as the courtesy Red Ensign flown on the cruiser had been misinterpreted.

1973 An official RNLI B class Atlantic 21 lifeboat was sent to the station.

1983 Rear Admiral Desmond Hoare, the founding headmaster of the college, unveiled a plaque to officially open a new boathouse.

The United States Ambassador named the Atlantic 21 lifeboat American Ambassador. It was provided from donations from Americans in Britain and the United States, following the American British Lifeboat Appeal.

1988 Rear Admiral Hoare died.

1993 Repair work was carried out to the concrete slipway.

1994 The slipway was extended to allow improved launch and recovery of the lifeboat.

1996 The boathouse was extended for an Atlantic 75 lifeboat and launching vehicle and also provided improved crew facilities.

2000 A new Atlantic 75 lifeboat, B-763 Colin James Daniel, was placed on service on 1 March.


This film was taken on-board Atlantic College Lifeboat. Atlantic College is the home of the Rigid Hull Inflatable (RIB)  and gave the design to the RNLI back in the 60's. The RNLI went on to develop this boat which is on station more then any other class of Lifeboat in the UK. The Atlantic class lifeboat (named after it's birth place) now comes in two sizes: 7.5m and 8.5m. Atlantic College is home to the Atlantic 75, Colin James Daniels. I was crew on the predecessor of this boat; American Ambassador, which was a Atlantic 21 (now out of service) class boat.

On this voyage, i was under the command of one of my oldest friends, Saul Mendelssohn, who is a helm at Atlantic College, amongst other things, you will hear more about Saul and his antics later in this blog.

Here is what the RNLI say about  AC: Atlantic College was one of the first nine inshore lifeboat stations to be established by the RNLI. Experimental work on the development of fast inshore rescue boats was carried out here and it was also the first station to have a female helmsman.