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Trent Class Lifeboats  

Relief lifeboat 14-15 Henry Heys Duckworth. Photo: RNLI

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.

The Trent class lifeboat was one of the first ‘hard chine’ hull design for the RNLI. The Trent has the same geometric hull shape as the Severn class and has a sheerline that sweeps down for ease of survivor recovery.

In the Trent, the engine room is aft but space limitations led to a novel approach in which one of the twin MAN diesel engines is turned around, driving the propeller in a conventional manner, while the other works through a 'V' drive.

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

The Trent class carries a small XP boat, an inflatable daughter boat with a 5hp outboard engine capable of 6 knots. This small craft is used to access areas where the lifeboat cannot reach. 

Trent Class Facts   

Introduced: 1994 (Last built 2003)

Length: 14.3m

Width: 4.9m

Load: 28 tonnes

Launch Type: Afloat

Fuel Capacity: 4,180 litres


Range: 250 nautical miles

Max Speed: 25 Knots

Engines: 2 x MAN 2840 marine diesel; 850hp each at 2,300hp

Lifeboats highlighted in GREEN are/were based at Irish Lifeboat stations.


(1) Damaged beyond repair March 2008

(2) On a Two year evaluation at Red Bay

(3) Sold in 2021. Renamed Auroa SAR. Now a private SAR boat with Search & Rescue Relief. Based in the Mediterranean.

(A) Due to be replaced by a Shannon class lifeboat in 2022/23

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

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