VESSEL REVIEW | Salvamar Leo – Fast lifeboat for eastern Spain’s coastal waters

Photo: alonso

Spain’s Salvamento Maritimo national maritime search and rescue (SAR) agency has begun operating a new shallow-draught fast lifeboat out of its station at Alicante on the country’s eastern autonomous community of Valencia.

Salvamar Leo was built by local shipyard Armon at its Auxiliar Naval del Principado de Asturias facilities. In line with the practice of having its newer boats named after constellations, Salvamento Maritimo christened the new boat after the constellation in the Northern celestial hemisphere.

Photo: alonso

The aluminium newbuild has a length of 21.5 metres, a beam of 5.5 metres, a displacement of 39 tonnes, and two MAN 1,040kW engines that deliver a top speed of over 38 knots and a range of 400 nautical miles at a cruising speed of 28 knots. The engines also give the boat a bollard pull of around six tonnes, allowing the lifeboat to tow disabled vessels as needed.

The engine room also has greater space and improved accessibility compared to the operator’s previous boats, thus allowing crews to more easily perform maintenance. A low handrail height meanwhile enables the crew to easily pull adrift people out of the water, such as during rescues of accident survivors at sea.

Aiding in SAR is a Hamilton DP system, a 3D side-scan sonar, two Furuno radars, and satellite communications gear from Inmarsat. The wheelhouse has Sparco shock-mitigation seating for a coxswain and two other crewmembers as well as full 360-degree visibility, ensuring an unobstructed view of the aft deck. Upward-facing windows provide the coxswain with improved visibility when manoeuvring alongside larger vessels.

Salvamar Leo
Type of vessel: Lifeboat
Flag: Spain
Owner: Salvamento Maritimo, Spain
Builder: Armon Shipyard, Spain
Hull construction material: Aluminium
Superstructure construction material: Aluminium
Deck construction material: Aluminium
Length overall: 21.5 metres
Beam: 5.5 metres
Displacement: 39 tonnes
Main engines: 2 x MAN, each 1,040 kW
Maximum speed: 38 knots
Cruising speed: 28 knots
Range: 400 nautical miles
Bollard pull: 6.0 tonnes
Radars: 2 x Furuno
Dynamic positioning: HamiltonJet
Satcom: Inmarsat
Seating: Sparco
Crew: 3
Operational area: Valencia, Spain

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