Seahouses Lifeboats Online   RNLI The charity that saves lives at sea     The RNLI is a registered Charity No 209603

Seahouses Lifeboats Online

  

RNLI

The Boats

All Weather Lifeboat -Type : - Mersey Class

R.N.L.B. "Grace Darling".

Method of launching: - Carriage and tractor, on concrete slip way beside Harbour Office.Our "Grace" on her carriage

Length: 11.57 metres (38ft) Beam : 3.81 metres (12.6ft)

Depth : 1.86 metres (6ft) Draught : 0.875 metres (2ft 10in)

Displacement : 13 tonnes. Crew: 6/7

Range : 180 miles. Fuel carried : 245 gallons (1114 litres)

Top Speed : 18 knots approx ( 20 mph.), 16 knots cruising.

Engines : Twin Caterpillar 3208T Turbo Charged Marine Diesels, providing 285 horsepower. (Same engines in tractor, without turbo chargers.)

Equipment : Radar, VHF Direction Finder, Global Positioning Satellite Navigation, Colour Chart Plotter, VHF (Short Range up to 30 miles) and MF (Medium Range up to 300 miles) Marine Radios, First Aid, stretchers, fire pumps, illuminating flares,  searchlights, radar, and other items too numerous to mention !

Arrived on station: 7th August, 1991. Last major refit - Autumn 2006. Due for replacement probably by a new Fast Carriage launched Lifeboat, but due to it (FCB1) failing rough weather evaluation, the project is now looking for a new hull design. Replacement was due in post 2012.

BOAT NUMBER 12-16 We are often asked what these numbers mean. "12" denotes a 12 metre Mersey Class lifeboat, "16" denotes the 16th boat of that class built of Fibre Glass Composite construction. If the hull had been aluminium, the number would have been "12-016". First digit "47" denotes a 47ft Tyne Class, all other later boats refer to the length in metres so that "14" is a 14 metre Trent Class, "16" a 16 metre Tamar Class, "17" a 17 metre Severn Class, "B" is the larger Atlantic type inshore lifeboat, "D" the smaller D Class Inshore Lifeboat, and "X" and "Y" the small inflatables carried aboard some larger lifeboats. "H" denotes a Hovercraft (eg New Brighton and Morecambe).


A Glimpse of the Future - the replacement for the trusty “Mersey Class” carriage launched lifeboat

The prototype Fast Carriage Lifeboat - (FCB 2) should be afloat by September 2011, ready to tour stations scheduled to receive one of these boats, so that crews can experience and test the new boat. The new boat is powered by water jets instead of the traditional propellers, and will be capable of 26 knots. It will be launched from a newly designed carriage, which is attached to the new tractor and is “4 wheel driven”.

Here is the first computer generated image of the new 13 metre boat, which will be known as a “Shannon Class” lifeboat. It will use a similar version of the electronics from the advanced Tamar Class slipway lifeboats, currently replacing the old Tyne Class boats. Watch this page for news of further developments.

Seahouses have been advised that the station has been selected to be allocated a “Shannon Class” to replace the current “Mersey” RNLB Grace Darling, in the next few years.


















The boat shown here being recovered (below photo gallery), was the first FCB trial boat, withdrawn following unsuccessful sea trials. The Supacat tractor will now have a different cab with more large windows to increase the driver’s all round vision. Note the drive on / drive off carriage, the boat cradle of which rotates 180 degrees, ready for the next launch. No more dragging the boat up on skids, prior to being winched onto the current design of carriage ! Launch and recovery should be much simpler and perhaps quicker.


FURTHER INFORMATION WILL BE PUBLISHED WHEN AVAILABLE, AND AUTHORISED BY RNLI HQ.


Inshore Lifeboat D-686 "D" Class IB1 "Peter Downes"


Placed on station at Seahouses on Thursday 10th January, 2008, replacing "D" Class Lifeboat D-529 "Martin, John and Ann", which had reached the end of its life as a station lifeboat. That boat will now spend its final years of RNLI service in the Relief Boat Fleet.
Excerpt from News Release. - The £29,000 lifeboat was named "Peter Downes" in memory of the Sutton Coldfield man who died following a diving accident in the English Channel in 2002. It is an updated version of the lifeboat station’s previous D class - one of the workhorses of the RNLI fleet - and is known as the Inshore Boat 1 (IB1). It has improved speed and manoeuvrability, with a top speed of 25 knots.D Class Inshore Lifeboat "Peter Downes"

Mr Downes’ wife Carolyn McLaughlin, who has now remarried, felt something positive should come out of her husband’s death and, with the help of Peter’s brother Michael, started to raise money for the RNLI.

She explained: ‘Peter was such a well respected and popular man that lots of people wanted to contribute. He was a highly qualified diver, who was keen to share his knowledge and experience with others. He loved being at sea.  I’m certain he would be pleased that something positive has come out of his death and that this lifeboat will be used to help people who get into difficulties off the coast at Seahouses.’ Among those who contributed to the fundraising were members of the Sutton Coldfield British Sub-Aqua Club, who raised over £5,000 with a sponsored underwater swim, and staff at Barclays Bank where Peter worked as a Senior Project Manager, as well as Lloyds TSB, where Mrs McLaughlin works.  "The fundraising was so successful that the family and their supporters have already provided an IB1 lifeboat for Pwllheli in Wales, named Leslie and Peter Downes in memory of Peter and his father.
The late Peter Downes.

Seahouses RNLI lifeboat operations manager, Ian Clayton, said: ‘Everyone at Seahouses lifeboat station is delighted and privileged to receive this new lifeboat, which will enable us to carry out rescues faster and more effectively than ever before'.

‘We are all extremely grateful to Mrs McLaughlin, her family and supporters for their generosity and thoughtfulness. The RNLI relies entirely on donations and legacies for our income and without people like them we would be unable to carry on saving lives at sea.’

Inshore Lifeboat "Peter Downes" on road trailerThe new lifeboat replaced Seahouses’ former D class lifeboat, Martin, John and Ann, which has operated at the lifeboat station since 1997 and is now coming to the end of its operational life. While at Seahouses, the lifeboat launched 140 times on service, rescuing 115 people.  

The Late Peter Downes, after whom the Inshore Lifeboat is namedThe late Peter Downes.

Seahouses RNLI lifeboat operations manager, Ian Clayton, said: ‘Everyone at Seahouses lifeboat station is delighted and privileged to receive this new lifeboat, which will enable us to carry out rescues faster and more effectively than ever before'.

‘We are all extremely grateful to Mrs McLaughlin, her family and supporters for their generosity and thoughtfulness. The RNLI relies entirely on donations and legacies for our income and without people like them we would be unable to carry on saving lives at sea.’

The new lifeboat replaces Seahouses’ existing D class lifeboat, Martin, John and Ann, which has operated at the lifeboat station since 1997 and is now coming to the end of its operational life. While at Seahouses, the lifeboat launched 140 times on service, rescuing 115 people.  Peter Downes will operate alongside Seahouses’ Mersey class all weather lifeboat, Grace Darling.

The RNLI’s IB1 lifeboat

The D class lifeboat, first introduced into the RNLI fleet in 1963, was designed to be launched quickly and easily, providing a rapid response to distress calls close to shore. It is a fully inflatable craft built of a polyester material coated with ‘hypalon’ – which is impact and abrasion resistant. The hull is divided into seven compartments so that, should one become punctured, the lifeboat will remain serviceable. The design of the lifeboat has continued to evolve since it was introduced, however it was completely re-engineered and updated between 2000 and 2003 following extensive consultation with lifeboat crews. The production version of the new D Class, Inshore Boat 1 (IB1) was introduced in August 2003 with improved manoeuvrability and equipment and the top speed has been increased from 20 knots to 25 knots. The new model was the work of the RNLI’s in house engineering team, who are responsible for the design and development of all the lifeboats in the RNLI fleet.

Method of launching: - Carriage and Landrover, on slip way beside harbour masters hut, or other launching site along the coast if quicker, e.g. Holy Island Causeway. The trailer doubles as a launching trailer and a road trailer when required. Crew - 2 / 3.  Boat carries VHF radio, built in GPS, first aid kit and oxygen therapy equipment, search lights, anchor, towline and other equipment for inshore rescue work.
The inshore lifeboat launchingThe Road Lights which fit on the IB1’s bow pod, when the boat has to travel by road to a remote launch site. (Idea copied from West Kirby Inshore Lifeboat !)

The custom made road lights fitted











Detachable Road Lights Bracket

Return to top of page

The Road Lights Bracket detached Another view of the customised road lights fitted See the RNLI’s Youtube Channel Videos of the new prototype Shannon Class design and trials, including the capsize trial - CLICK HERE NEW © Copyright - Seahouses Lifeboat Station 2014