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There are currently six classes of all-weather lifeboat in the RNLI fleet: Shannon; Tamar; Severn; Trent; Tyne; and Mersey.

The Tyne class was the first 'fast' slipway lifeboat. Introduced in 1982, she can also lie afloat.

Key features

  • Systems and information Management system
  • Self righting
  • Righting and restarting
  • Navigation and communication

First introduced at Selsey Lifeboat Station in 1982, the Tyne’s features include a low-profile wheelhouse and a separate cabin behind the upper steering position. She is self-righting, aided by twin automatically inflating bags on the aft cabin roof. Her mast and aerials can be lowered when working with helicopters and to fit into a boathouse.

The propellers and rudders lie in partial tunnels set into the hull, which, along with the main and two long bilge keels, provide excellent protection for the unforgiving low waters and shallow channels in and around the harbour.

The Tyne carries an X boat, a small unpowered and manually launched inflatable daughter boat, to access areas where the lifeboat cannot reach.

The comprehensive electronics include VHF and MF radios with DSC functionality, VHF direction finder, DGPS with electronic chart system and radar.

Comprehensive first aid equipment includes stretchers, oxygen and Entonox. Other equipment carried includes a portable salvage pump.

The last Tyne was built in 1990 and the class will be gradually replaced by the Tamar class.

Image of St Davids Tyne class lifeboat in action. Photo: RNLI/Nigel Millard

Date introduced:


Launch type:

Slipway or afloat​

Number in fleet:

16 at station plus 8 in relief fleet​

Last built:











​27 tonnes

Max speed:

​18 knots

Fuel capacity:

​2,180 litres


​240 nautical miles


Hull – corten steel

Superstructure – aluminium


2 x GM6V92 marine diesel; 425hp each at 2,300rpm or 2 x GM6V92 DDec; 525hp each at 2,300rpm​

Survivor capacity:

​Self-righting - 37

Non self-righting - 108

Image of Baltimore’s Tyne class lifeboat crew assist a dismasted yacht. Photo: Youen Jacob

Calshot’s busy Cowes Week

Calshot RNLI all-weather lifeboat crew were called upon three times in one day to attend to injured yachtsmen during Cowes Week in 2011. In the first incident a crewman aboard a J80 class yacht suffered a serious head injury in an accident. He was treated aboard the boat by Calshot lifeboat’s doctor and a doctor aboard the yacht. He was then transferred to the Gosport and Fareham independent inshore rescue boat (pictured below) and airlifted to Southampton General Hospital.

The second incident involved a man who had fallen overboard from a 12m Beneteau yacht. He had been rescued by the yacht crew but had swallowed a lot of seawater. A lifeboat crew member from Calshot gave casualty care before the man was taken to Cowes to be met by an ambulance and rushed to St Mary’s Hospital in Newport.

In a further incident, the doctor from Calshot lifeboat helped to treat a French sailor at Cowes who had received a head injury. He was also taken to St Mary’s Hospital.

Image of Poole’s Tyne class lifeboat helped to move another Sunseeker yacht away from the burning vessel. Photo: RNLI/PooleFighting fire

During the evening of Poole Lifeboat Station’s Annual Presentation of Awards Dinner, Coxswain Jonathan Clark, who works for Sunseeker, got a phone call at 11.15pm on 6 May to say that a 34m Sunseeker, worth approximately £7M, was on fire at New Quay, Poole Quay.

He went across to New Quay to check and requested the launch of the station’s all-weather Tyne class lifeboat City of Sheffield with six crew including himself. The inshore lifeboat followed soon after. All crew turned up suitably attired in shirts and ties.

Two all-weather lifeboat crew were put ashore with a salvage pump to boundary cool with the fire hose. After 10 minutes, flares from the back of the vessel ignited and the fire crew said: 'Thanks for your help, nice tie, but we suggest you get back now!'

A second Sunseeker, a 115 Predator, was towed off the quay by the Tyne class with two inshore lifeboat crew members onboard, and this was then tied alongside further up the quay.

After this, several fire pumps fought the fire for a further 2½ hours until the fire was under control.

Image of St Davids Tyne class lifeboat and boathouse. Photo: Tony Dunmore










Locations of Tyne class lifeboat stations:



Lough Swilly










Relief fleet

4 lifeboats

  • Baltimore Tyne in rough seas. RNLI/Nigel Millard Image of Baltimore’s Tyne class lifeboat. Photo: RNLI/Nigel Millard
  • Portpatrick Tyne. RNLI/Nicholas Leach Image of Portpatrick’s Tyne class lifeboat. Photo: Nicholas Leach
  • Calshot Tyne RNLI/Nathan Williams
  • Tyne launch RNLI/R.McLaughlin Image of Workington’s Tyne class lifeboat in davit for launching. Photo: R McLaughlin
  • Lowestoft Tyne with Chinook RNLI/John H Lewington Image of Lowestoft’s Tyne class lifeboat working with a Chinook helicopter. Photo: John H Lewington
  • The Mumbles Tyne Image of The Mumbles Tyne class and D class lifeboat crews working with RAF helicopter
  • Baltimore Tyne being launched from boathouse RNLI/Nigel Millard Image of Baltimore’s Tyne class lifeboat being launched down the slipway. Photo: RNLI/Nigel Millard
  • Tyne to dismasted yacht RNLI/Youen jacob Image of Baltimore’s Tyne class lifeboat crew assist a dismasted yacht. Photo: Youen Jacob
  • Tyne at night on slipway RNLI/Tommy Dover Image of Wicklow’s Tyne class lifeboat decorated in lights on slipway. Photo: Tommy Dover
  • St Davids Tyne RNLI/Nigel Millard Image of St Davids Tyne class lifeboat in action. Photo: RNLI/Nigel Millard
  • St Davids Tyne on slipway RNLI/Tony Dunmore Image of St Davids Tyne class lifeboat and boathouse. Photo: Tony Dunmore
  • Poole Tyne in rough seas RNLI/Rob Inett Image of Poole’s Tyne class lifeboat in rough seas
  • Poole Tyne with sinking yacht RNLI/Wayne Carter Image of Poole’s Tyne class lifeboat crew assisting a sinking yacht