Donate now

60 years of saving lives: RNLI celebrates the anniversary of Inshore Lifeboats

Lifeboats News Release

Introduced in 1963, the inshore lifeboat continues to be an invaluable asset in the Royal National Lifeboat Institution’s (RNLI) fleet as new figures show the charity’s Inshore lifeboats have saved 30,778* lives across 60 years.

The inshore lifeboat has enabled the charity’s volunteer crews to carry out their lifesaving work closer to shore, in areas inaccessible to other lifeboats in the fleet. Designed to be quick and manoeuvrable, inshore lifeboats can operate in shallower water, near cliffs and rocks meaning crews can get as close as possible to those in trouble.

Carrybridge Lifeboat Station has had their Atlantic 85, Douglas Euan and Kay Richards, saving lives on Lough Erne since November 2017 when it arrived at the station. It has gone on to launch 152 times and aid 339 people. Inshore Lifeboats on Lough Erne began with the Atlantic 21 in 2002, followed by the Atlantic 75 in 2011 and the current Atlantic 85 in 2017.

Stephen Scott, Volunteer Lifeboat Operations Manager at Carrybridge said:

Carrybridge Lifeboat Station and our various Inshore Lifeboats have enabled our volunteer crew since the station was established in 2002 to reach areas close to shore to rescue people in trouble. These fast and highly manoeuvrable lifesaving craft answered the need for a quicker and more agile response to rescues in areas of shallow water on Lough Erne.

Atlantic 85 B-Class Inshore Lifeboats are a part of our community and suit the demands of the rescues we attend with its unique features and capabilities and has made a huge difference to the efficiency and effectiveness of our 24/7 search and rescue service.

The Inshore Lifeboats have aided many people in difficult situations, whether that is boats in trouble or water users in need of our help.

Chris Cathcart, Helm at Carrybridge RNLI lifeboat station:

‘The unique features of Lough Erne and its complex navigational challenges combined with the agility of the Inshore Lifeboat mean we have the boat to meet the challenges of any call-out that we are faced with. On one occasion we had four call outs back-to-back in one day and the endurance of the Inshore Lifeboat meant that we could respond to them all ensuring everyone was able to come home safely. The Atlantic 85 lifeboat is a very capable lifeboat to work with. Whether you’re heading to the scene of an incident, conducting a careful search or carrying out the actual rescue, she’s got all the power and kit you could want.’

The RNLI builds and maintains most of its inshore lifeboats in house at their Inshore Lifeboat Centre in Cowes on the Isle of Wight. This allows the charity to have greater control over costs and quality ensuring they produce the best lifesaving asset for their crews and spend their supporters’ donations in the most efficient and effective way.

For more information about our Inshore Lifeboats, click here.

Notes to editors:

· *Statistics taken from 1963 – 2 May 2023. Includes lifesaving statistics from our Atlantic 85, D class and E class lifeboats, launches of our daughter boats from the RNLI’s all-weather lifeboats and models of inshore lifeboats that are no longer part of the RNLI fleet.

Atlantic 85 lifeboat

· The current generation of B class lifeboat is called the Atlantic 85 – named after the Atlantic College in Wales where these rigid inflatable lifeboats (RIBs) were first developed. 85 represents its length – nearly 8.5m. The lifeboat is both day and night capable and can operate in weather up to a Beaufort Force 7.

· There have been three generations of B class lifeboat. The first one was the Atlantic 21, the first RIB to join the RNLI fleet. It served from 1972 until 2008.

· The Atlantic 21 was then replaced by the Atlantic 75, which was in service from 1993 until 2022. It has now been replaced by the Atlantic 85, which was introduced to the fleet in 2005.

· The introduction of the first rigid inflatable lifeboat (RIB) – the Atlantic 21 – into the RNLI fleet back in 1972 revolutionised lifesaving at sea.

· The speed, manoeuvrability, agility and versatility of these RIBs dramatically improved the efficiency and effectiveness of our search and rescue service. All three generations of our Atlantic lifeboats have helped us to save thousands of lives at sea

· When it comes to responding to a lifesaving task, the Atlantic 85 lifeboat is one of the fastest in the fleet; her top speed is 35 knots powered by two 115hp 4-stroke engines.

RNLI media contacts

For more information please telephone Stephen Scott, Carrybridge RNLI Volunteer Deputy Lifeboat Press Officer on 07786228968, email [email protected] or Chris Cathcart, Carrybridge RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 07595895908, email [email protected] or contact Nuala McAloon, Regional Media Officer on 00353 876483547 or [email protected] or Niamh Stephenson, Regional Media Manager on 00353 871254124 or [email protected] or Press Office – [email protected] - 01202 336789

RNLI online

For more information, please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the RNLI News Centre.

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.