Our lifeboat fleet
We also have over 100 lifeboats in our relief fleet, ready to temporarily replace station lifeboats whenever they require regular or emergency maintenance.
RNLI lifeboats are divided into two categories: all-weather lifeboats and inshore lifeboats. The different lifeboat classes within these categories means we can reach people in all kinds of situations and locations.
The type of lifeboat a station has depends on geographical features, the kind of rescues the station is involved in and the cover provided by neighbouring lifeboat stations.
All-weather lifeboats (ALBs) are capable of high speed and can be operated safely in all weather conditions. They are inherently self-righting after a capsize and fitted with navigation, location and communication equipment.
Inshore lifeboats (ILBs) usually operate closer to shore, in shallower water, near cliffs, rocks and even in caves.
We also have inshore rescue hovercraft for areas that are inaccessible to conventional RNLI lifeboats such as mud flats and river estuaries.
When lives are on the line, speed counts
That’s why we want the entire RNLI all-weather lifeboat fleet to be capable of 25 knots by 2019.