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David Stogdon - No more lifeboat disasters

David Stogdon, "who has died aged 89, saw the culmination of his work as a lifeboat designer in the large, fast, rigid inflatable boats that are now in safe use around the world.

"His resolve that there should be no more 'lifeboat widows' was formed when, within a few months of his joining the RNLI as its inspector for Scotland in 1952, the Fraserburgh and the Arbroath lifeboats, both traditionally built wooden craft, were lost with many casualties.

"Inspired by the rigid inflatable boats (RIBs) - tubular craft with wooden or aluminium floors - which had been developed by Rear-Admiral Desmond Hoare, the founding headmaster of Atlantic College, Stogdon set out to design a lifeboat which could not be sunk and which would not capsize and trap its crew."

Despite critics who doubted him, he did what he set out to do, building a class of seagoing RIBs. He is just one of the many largely unknown people who have contributed so much to our lives today.

He was also a hero of World War II, on the water, of course.