Irish Lifeboats

The definitive guide to the Irish lifeboat service

This website is dedicated to the brave volunteer crews of both the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), the Irish Coast Guard (IRCG) and the Community Rescue Boats Ireland (CRBI) who have to negotiate some of the roughest sea conditions around Europe.


Clogherhead RNLI welcomes latest €2.5m Shannon class lifeboat to Louth station

On Sunday, June 2nd 2019 the latest in RNLI lifeboat technology was delivered to Clogherhead in county Louth and was welcomed to its new home by hundreds of people who turned out from the town and surrounding areas.

Clogherhead RNLI’s Shannon class lifeboat is unique in the RNLI’s fleet as it has been funded by an Irish legacy, named after an Irish lifeboat volunteer, designed by an Irish engineer and is the first class to be called after an Irish river. The Michael O’Brien Shannon class lifeboat arrived to a sunny Clogherhead at exactly 13.31 hours, the operational number of the lifeboat. 

A significant proportion of the funding for the Clogherhead lifeboat has been provided through a generous legacy by Wexford farmer, Mr. Henry Tomkins, who was a lifelong supporter of the RNLI. Henry stipulated that a lifeboat be named for his long-time friend, the former Arklow RNLI Coxswain, Mr. Michael O’Brien. The Shannon lifeboat was designed by Derry man Peter Eyre who as child was rescued by Lough Swilly RNLI in Donegal. Photo: Pat Browne

Family raise £9,000 for Newcastle RNLI in memory of local woman Ruth Maguire

The family of Ruth Maguire, who was drowned in Carlingford Lough last March, have raised £9,000 for Newcastle RNLI in her memory.

Rescued family help RNLI spread lifesaving message during GAA Semi-Final

A Tyrone family who were rescued last year took to the pitch at last weekend’s All-Ireland Hurling semi-final as part of the RNLI’s GAA partnership which aims to raise awareness of the risks of drowning and to encourage people to enjoy the water safely.

Clifden RNLI receive first Shannon class lifeboat for the West Coast of Ireland

Clifden RNLI have become the first lifeboat station on the west coast of Ireland to receive the latest in lifeboat technology, the Shannon class lifeboat.

Respect The Water

Respect the Water is the RNLI’s national drowning prevention campaign.

Around 190 people die each year around the UK and Irish coasts - and the RNLI is working to change this. The RNLI has a goal to halve the number of coastal drownings by 2024 and Respect the Water is playing a key role in this.

Respect The Water

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RNLI Lifeboat Fleet

The RNLI currently operate from 46 stations in the Republic and Northern Ireland. 

Different classes of lifeboat are needed for various locations. So RNLI lifeboats are divided into two categories: all-weather and inshore.

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Community Rescue Boats

There are a number of independent lifeboat services located in Ireland. 

These services operate independently from the RNLI. Most operate with support from their local community and the Irish Coastguard.

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Safety On The Water

The Irish Coast Guard, the RNLI & Irish Water Safety advise caution to those engaged in recreational activities in or near water during the summer months. 

For more information visit