Tyne class lifeboat

The Tyne class all-weather lifeboat was our first fast slipway-launched lifeboat.

She has a compact superstructure and her steel hull and fully protected propellers take into account the stresses and strains of slipway launching. She can also lie afloat, either at deep-water moorings or alongside at a berth.

The Tyne was introduced into the RNLI fleet in 1982 and the last Tyne class lifeboat was built in 1990. She is named after ex-Coxswain at Tynemouth, Paulin Denham Christie, who was a big part of the fast slipway boat project.

We have been replacing our Tyne class lifeboats with Tamar class lifeboats and now the Shannon as part of our plans for a faster and more efficient 25-knot all-weather lifeboat fleet.

Coxswain Martin Rudwick, Selsey RNLI

Photo: Nathan Williams

Coxswain Martin Rudwick, Selsey RNLI
With her rugged construction, the Tyne class is well suited to Selsey. She can be recovered even in poor weather onto the slipway and is highly capable of taking the ground on the numerous shoal areas around Selsey Bill, where some of our casualties come to grief.

Lifesaving features

Speed

With a top speed of 18 knots, the Tyne was our fastest all-weather lifeboat to be launched via a slipway when she was introduced to the fleet in 1982.

Slipways allow our crews to launch from cliffs and raised manmade objects such as piers.

Manoeuvrability

The propellers and rudders of our Tyne class lifeboat lie in partial tunnels set into the hull. The tunnels, along with the main and two bilge keels, provide excellent protection from damage in shallow water or through slipway operations.

She is ideal for offshore searches and rescue in all kinds of weather and sea conditions and has the power to tow large boats to safety.

Safety

As with all of our all-weather lifeboats, the Tyne class is inherently self-righting. Should she capsize in severe weather, she will right herself aided by twin automatically-inflating bags on the aft cabin roof.

She carries comprehensive medical equipment including oxygen and full resuscitation kit, Entonox for pain relief, large responder bag and three different stretchers.

Efficiency and effectiveness

The Tyne carries a small X boat, which is an inflatable unpowered daughter boat. The X boat is manually launched and allows the crew to row to areas the Tyne cannot reach.

She features a low-profile wheelhouse and a separate cabin aft of the upper steering position. And her mast and aerials can be lowered when working with helicopters and so that she can fit into a boathouse.

Technical specifications

Illustration of the RNLI Tyne class all-weather lifeboat

Lifeboat category:
All-weather

Year introduced to the RNLI fleet:
1982

Last built:
1990

Launch type:
Slipway or afloat

Crew:
6

Survivor capacity:
Self-righting – 37
Non self-righting – 108

Maximum speed:
18 knots

Range / endurance:
240 nautical miles

Length:
14.3m

Beam / width:
4.4m

Draught / depth:
1.45m

Displacement / weight:
27 tonnes (maximum)

Fuel capacity:
2,180 litres

Engines:
2 x GM6V92 marine diesel engines; 425hp each at 2,300rpm
Or
2 x GM6V92 DDec marine diesel engines; 525hp each at 2,300rpm

Steering positions:
2 – an elevated upper steering position for 360º views and one inside the wheelhouse

Construction:
Hull – corten steel
Superstructure – aluminium.

Number in fleet:
4 at stations and 2 in the relief fleet

Identification
All lifeboats have a unique identification number.
The first part indicates the class. Tyne class lifeboats start with 47 because they are 47 feet (14.3m) in length.
The numbers after the dash refer to the build number. So the first Tyne built was given the number 47-001.
A build number with three digits indicates a hull constructed of aluminium. Two digits indicate a hull constructed of fibre-reinforced composite (FRC).

Communications and navigation
Includes:

  • VHF (very high frequency) and MF (medium frequency) radio with digital selective calling (DSC)
  • VHF direction finder (DF)
  • global positioning system (GPS) with electronic chart system
  • radar.

Locations

The following four lifeboat stations have a Tyne class all-weather lifeboat:

Douglas
Selsey
Wicklow
Workington

Selsey was the first station to receive a Tyne class lifeboat, the City of London 47-001 in 1983. Hermione Lady Colwyn 47-040 was the last Tyne to be built in 1990 and was stationed at Shoreham Harbour until 2010.

There are also two Tyne class lifeboats in our relief fleet.

Watch the Tyne lifeboat in action