RNLI hovercraft lifeboat

RNLI Hovercraft H001 Molly Rayner in 2005
Class overview
Name: H-class Rescue Hovercraft
Builders: Griffon Hovercraft
Operators: Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI)
Preceded by: None
Built: 2002–2009
In service: 2002–
Completed: 7 (production ongoing)
General characteristics
Displacement: 3.86 tonnes
Length: 6.88 m (22.6 ft)
Beam: 3.36 m (11.0 ft)
Draught: N/A
Propulsion: 2 x VW 1.9 turbo diesels
Speed: 30 knots (35 mph)
Endurance: 3 hours
Capacity: 10
Complement: 2-4

H-class Rescue Hovercraft serve the shores of the United Kingdom as a part of the RNLI inshore fleet. The class are of a modified Type 470TD design built by Griffon Hovercraft.

The hovercraft was developed to operate in tidal areas such as Morecambe Bay where strandings by incoming tides can have fatal consequences and where normal craft are unable to operate, for example due to mud flats.

Hovercraft also operate out of Hunstanton, New Brighton, and Southend-on-Sea stations.


Op. No.[lower-alpha 1] Name In service Principal Station
H-001 Molly Rayner 2002– Relief fleet
H-002 The Hurley Flyer 2002– Morecambe
H-003 Hunstanton Flyer (Civil Service No. 450) 2003– Hunstanton
H-004 Vera Ravine 2004– Southend-on-Sea
H-005 Hurley Spirit 2005– New Brighton
H-006 John Russell 2005– Relief fleet[1]
H-007 Samburgh 2009– Relief fleet[2]
  1. Op. No. is the RNLI's Operational Number of the boat.


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