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Irish Lifeboats

Mersey Class Lifeboats 

The Mersey class lifeboat is designed primarily to operate from a carriage on a beach but can also operate off a slipway or lie afloat.

The wheelhouse is set well aft and the sheerline is flattened towards the bow.

The propellers and rudders lie in partial tunnels set into the hull that, along with the main and two bilge keels, provide excellent protection from damage in shallow water or slipway operations.

The mast and aerials can be collapsed to fit into a boathouse.

The Mersey can carry an X boat, a small unpowered and manually launched inflatable daughter boat for the crew to access areas where the lifeboat cannot reach. 

The Mersey class is now in the process of being replaced by the new Shannon Class lifeboat. 

Mersey Class Facts  

Introduced: 1988 (Last built 1993)

Length: 11.62m

Width: 4m

Load: 14.3 tonnes

Launch Type: Carriage, slipway or afloat

Fuel Capacity: 1,110 litres

Crew: 6

Range: 240 nautical miles

Max Speed: 17 Knots

Engines: 2 x Caterpiller 3208T marine diesel; 280hp each at 2,800rpm

O.N.

Op. No. 

Name

Year Built

 Service History

Notes

1119

12-000

-

1987

Trials 1987 to 1988

(1)

1124

12-001  

Peggy and Alex Caird

1988

Bridlington 1988 to 1995

Relief 1995 to 2009

Bembridge 2009 to 2010

Relief 2010 to 2015


1125

12-002

Sealink Endeavour

1987

Trials 1987 to 1989

Hastings 1989 to 2018


1161

12-003

Doris M Mann of Ampthill

1990

Wells 1990 to date


1162

12-004

Royal Shipwright

1990

Relief 1990 to 2007

Cromer 2007 to 2008

Relief 2008 to 2016


1163

12-005

Lady of Hilbre

1990

Hoylake 1990 to 2014

Relief 2014 to 2015


1164

12-006 

Andy Pearce

1990

Llandudno 1990 to 2017


1165

12-007

Spirit of Derbyshire

1990

Ilfracombe 1990 to 2015


1166

12-008

Lincolnshire Poacher

1990

Skegness 1990 to 2017


1167

12-009  

The Princess Royal (Civil Service No. 41)

1990

St Ives 1990 to 2015

Relief 2015 to 2016


1168

12-010

Lily and Vincent Anthony

1990

Pwllheli 1991 to date


1148

12-11

Lifetime Care

1988

Relief 1989 to 2017


1169

12-12

Marine Engineer

1991

Relief 1991 to 1995

Bridlington 1995 to 2017

Douglas 2018 to date


1170

12-13

Keep Fit Association

1991

Filey 1991 to date


1171

12-14

Ann and James Ritchie

1991

Ramsey 1991 to date


1172

12-15

Frank and Lena Clifford of Stourbridge

1991

New Quay 1992 to date


1173

12-16

Grace Darling

1991

Seahouses 1991 to 2020

Relief 2020 to date


1174

12-17

Kingdom of Fife

1991

Anstruther 1991 to date


1175

12-18

Fanny Victoria Wilkinson and Frank Stubbs

1991

Scarborough 1991 to 2016

Relief 2016 to 2018


1176

12-19

The Four Boys

1991

Sennen Cove 1991 to 1998

Relief 1998 to 1999

Amble 1999 to 2016


1177

12-20

Leonard Kent

1991

Margate 1991 to date


1178

12-21

Margaret Jean

1992

Relief 1992 to 1998

Lythan St Annes 1998 to 1999

Relief 1999 to 2008

Exmouth 2008 to 2014

Relief 2014 to 2020


1181

12-22

Ruby Clery

1992

Peel 1992 to date


1182

12-23

Robert Charles Brown

1992

Swanage 1992 to 2016

Relief 2016 to 2019


1183

12-24  

Lil Cunningham

1992

Rhyl 1992 to 2019


1184

12-25

Bingo Lifeline

1992

Relief 1992 to date


1185

12-26

Moira Barrie

1992

Barmouth 1992 to 2019


1186

12-27

Pride and Spirit

1992

Dungeness 1992 to 2014

Clifden 2014 to 2016

Relief 2016 to 2019


1187

12-28

Mary Margaret

1992

Kilmore Quay 1992 to 2004

Relief 2004 to date


1188

12-29

Eleanor and Bryant Girling

1992

Newcastle 08/09/93 to date


1189

12-30

Her Majesty The Queen

1992

Relief 1993 to 1996

Cromer 1996 to 1999

Lytham St Annes 1999 to 2018

Relief 2016 to date


1190

12-31

Doris Bleasdale

1992

Clogherhead 03/03/93 to 08/07/19

Relief 2019 to date


1191

12-32

Joy and Charles Beeby

1992

Berwick upon Tweed 1993 to date


1192

12-33

Fishermans Friend

1993

Relief 1993 to 2016

Clifden 14/01/16 to ??/09/19

Relief 2019 to date


1193

12-34

Freddie Cooper

1992

Aldeburgh 1993 to date


1194

12-35

Inchcape

1993

Arbroath 1993 to date


1195

12-36

Royal Thames

1993

Eastbourne 1993 to 2012

Leverburgh 2012 to 2018


1196

12-37

Sylvia Burrell

1993

Girvin 1993 to 2017

Relief 2017 to 2018


Lifeboats highlighted in GREEN were based at Irish Lifeboat stations.

Notes

(1) Prototype Mersey class lifeboat used on trials. Sold in 1989

O.N. is the RNLI's Official Number of the boat

Op.No. is the RNLI's Operational Number of the boat carried on the hull

Last Updated 18/02/2021

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Talus MB-H amphibious tractor

Talus MB-H is a continuous track launch tractor which was specifically designed for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), to launch and recover lifeboats from beach-launched lifeboat stations.

Rhyl RNLI’s Mersey class lifeboat, Lil Cunningham 12-24, being launched by her launch and recovery tractor. Photo: Nathan Williams

The tractor is produced by the British company of Clayton Engineering Limited who are based in Knighton, Powys.

This amphibious tractor has been designed to launch carriage-launched lifeboats such as the Mersey-class all-weather lifeboat. The tractor can deploy its pay-load in to a sufficient depth of water to ensure a safe launching of the lifeboat. For recovery the lifeboat is winched from shallow water back onto its carriage allowing the tractor to haul the carriage back across the beach to its boathouse.

The vehicle has been designed to work over varying beach environments and can easily launch and recover lifeboats of up to 15 tonnes in weight. It will comfortably work at full power into up to 2.44 metres (8.0 ft) of calm water. The 3208 V8 Caterpillar diesel engine will generate power simultaneously for drive and for winching during its launch and recovery procedure. Control of the vehicle is achieved using a single joystick controller which controls the hydraulic transmission functions and has the added safety feature of a dead man pedal.

The tractor has a fully enclosed, waterproof, protective cockpit and has duplicated controls front and back for use when facing in either direction. In the event of the tractor becoming inoperable whilst in the water, it can be battened down and left on the sea bed in up to a depth of 9.0 metres (29.5 ft) without the entry of sea water. The tractor has been designed with extensive corrosion protection to protect from the very aggressive working environment of the sea water and beach conditions the tractor has to endure.

The tractor when tethered to a lifeboat carriage has the capability of towing and pulling such carriages at a top speed of up to 12.0 kilometres (7.5 mi). In addition to its original design intent, the tractor has the advantages of having a varied performance range and can be used for hauling, winching and heavy recovery operations either on dry land or in flood conditions. There are 30 Talus MB-H machines in the RNLI fleet in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland.

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