The RNLI have over 350 lifeboats based at stations around the UK and Ireland. Between them, RNLI lifeboats cover 19,000 miles of coastline and some busy inland stretches of water.
The RNLI have 34 all-weather lifeboats and 42 inshore lifeboats in the relief fleet, ready to temporarily replace station lifeboats whenever they require regular or emergency maintenance. The relief fleet is on standby in strategic points around the UK and Ireland, and is kept in a constant state of operational readiness to provide cover at any of the RNLI's 238 lifeboat stations.
The RNLI currently operate from a total of 46 stations in the Republic and Northern Ireland. Different classes of lifeboat are needed for various locations, depending on geographical features, the kind of rescue work that the station is asked to do and the cover provided by neighbouring stations. RNLI lifeboats are divided into two categories: all-weather and inshore.