Irish Lifeboats

The definitive guide to the Irish lifeboat service

RNLI Lifeboat Fleet

The RNLI currently operate a total of 59 lifeboats from the 45 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.

All-weather lifeboats (ALBs) are capable of high speed and can be operated safely in all weather. They are inherently self-righting after a capsize and fitted with navigation, location and communication equipment.

Inshore lifeboats (ILBs) usually operate closer to shore than ALBs, in shallower water, close to cliffs, among rocks or even in caves.

Tyne Class Lifeboats

The Tyne class lifeboat was the first introduced in 1982 and was the RNLi's first 'fast' slipway launch lifeboat.

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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.

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Trent Class Lifeboats

Developed by the RNLI in the early 1990s, the first Trent class lifeboat was introduced in 1994, with a maximum speed of 25 knots, propeller protection and a range of 250 nautical miles.

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Severn Class Lifeboats

Developed in the early 1990s, the Severn class was introduced into the fleet in 1995 and is designed to lie afloat, either at deep-water moorings or at a berth. 


Tamar Class Lifeboats

The Tamar class is the latest all-weather lifeboat class to be introduced by the RNLI. 

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Shannon Class Lifeboats

The Shannon class lifeboat harnesses cutting-edge technology to ensure that it will meet the demands of a 21st century rescue service.

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D Class Lifeboats

The D class is an inshore lifeboat (ILB). These fast, light inflatable boats are suited to shallow water and confined locations such as close to cliffs.

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B Class lifeboats

The B Class is one of the two classes of inshore lifeboats . There are two types of B class the Atlantic 75 and the Atlantic 85.

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