The RNLI has an active fleet of over 340 lifeboats, ranging from 3.8–17m in length, as well as a relief fleet. There are also four active and three relief hovercraft.
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. So 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.
Hovercraft can operate in areas such as mud flats or river estuaries that are inaccessible to conventional lifeboats.
Slipway or afloat
Carriage, slipway or afloat
B class – Atlantic 85
Carriage, davit or floating boathouse
B class – Atlantic 75
Trolley or davit
Arancia inshore rescue boat
Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Registered charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland | RNLI (Trading) Ltd - 1073377, RNLI (Sales) Ltd - 2202240, RNLI (Enterprises) Ltd - 1784500 and RNLI College Ltd - 7705470 are all companies registered in England and Wales at West Quay Road, Poole, BH15 1HZ. Images and copyright © RNLI 2015.