Irish Lifeboats

The definitive guide to the Irish lifeboat service

Shannon Class Lifeboats

The Shannon class lifeboat – its previous designation was the Fast Carriage Boat 2 or FCB2 reflecting that it will be predominantly launched over beaches, – harnesses cutting-edge technology to ensure that it will meet the demands of a 21st century rescue service and allow the charity’s volunteer crew to do their lifesaving work as safely as possible in all weather conditions.

Using twin waterjets instead of conventional propellers, the Shannon class will be able to operate in shallow waters and be highly manoeuvrable. The waterjets also reduce the risk of damage to the lifeboat during launch and recovery, or when intentionally beached.

It can be launched, bow first, from a tractor and carriage and will have a top speed of 25 knots. Like the Tamar class lifeboat, the Shannon also has specially designed seats that protect the volunteer crew and SIMS (System and Information Management System), which allows the crew to monitor the boat from the safety of their seats.

Like all RNLI all-weather lifeboats, the Shannon is self-righting and will return to an upright position in the event of capsize.

Lough Swilly was the first Irish station to receive a Shannon Class in April 2015.

Shannon Class Overview

Cost: £1.5 million

In Service: From 2013

Length: 13.6m

Width: 4.54m

Load: 14.6 tonnes

Crew: 5

Range: 250 nautical miles

Max Speed: 25-27 Knots

Engines: 2 x Catterpiller C9 engines, 510hp, 2 x Hamilton HJ 362 Waterjets

 Op. No.
 Year Built
 Jock and Annie Slater
 Wicklow 05/04/19 to date
  Derek Bullivant
Lough Swilly 10/04/15 to date
  Brianne Aldington
  Michael O'Brien
Clogherhead 08/07/19 to date
Lifeboats listed in YELLOW are under construction. Lifeboats listed in WHITE are in service.  Lifeboats listed in GREEN are temporarily on station.