Trent-class lifeboat

14-32 Corinne Whiteley (ON 1253)
Class overview
Builders: Green Marine
Operators: Royal National Lifeboat Institution
Preceded by: Arun, Tyne, Waveney
Cost: £1.1 million
Built: 1991–2005
In service: 1994–
Completed: 38
Active: 37
Retired: 1
General characteristics
Displacement: 27.5 long tons (28 t)
Length: 14.26 m (46 ft 9 in)
Beam: 4.9 m (16 ft 1 in)
Draught: 1.3 m (4 ft 3 in)
Propulsion: 2 × MAN D2840LE 401 diesel engines, 860 hp (641 kW)
Speed: 25 knots (29 mph; 46 km/h)
Range: 250 nmi (460 km)
  • self-righting: 20
  • non self-righting: 73
Complement: 6

The Trent-class lifeboat is an all-weather lifeboat operated by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) from 30 stations around the coasts of Great Britain and Ireland to provide coverage up to 50 miles (80 km) out to sea. Introduced to service in 1994, the class is named after the River Trent, the second longest river wholly in England.


In the 1980s the RNLI's Arun and Waveney all-weather lifeboats provided coverage 30 miles (48 km) out to sea, operating at up to 18 knots (33 km/h) to cover the distance in two hours in good weather. However the RNLI felt that they needed the capability to extend their coverage to 50 miles (80 km) radius which would require lifeboats with a top speed of 25 knots (46 km/h). This resulted in the 14 metres (46 ft) Trent and 17 metres (56 ft) Severn lifeboats.[1]

The prototype for the Trent class was built in 1991. It was used for trials until 1994, when it was put into active service at Alderney Lifeboat Station. It remained on station there until their own boat was available in 1995, since when it has served in the relief fleet. Construction of its sister boats continued until 2004.[2]


The Trent is intended to lie afloat at moorings. It has five water-tight bulkheads to create six compartments: fore peak; fore store; survivor cabin; tank space; machinery space; and aft peak steering compartment. Above these is the main deckhouse which has seats for the six crew and a doctor. This is another water-tight space which provides the boat's self-righting capability.[3]

Designed and built by Green Marine, each boat is constructed of over 100 mm thick fibre reinforced composite topsides, single laminate double hull bottoms, 4 water-tight bulkheads and prepreg epoxy, glass and Kevlar shields.

The Trent has a service life of 25 years, although current estimates appear to exceed these original operational confines due to constant on-station maintenance, periodic refitting and sporadic repairs. In comparison with its predecessors, the boat has numerous additional advantages which aid in the overall success of every launch. One detail would be its condensed hull, which allows it to operate in significantly constrained locations (such as marina berths and dense quayside scenes).

Another aspect aiding in its confined manoeuvrability would be the bilge keels which aid in protecting its twin drive props. Its hull sheerline sweeps down into an area known as the welldeck, which dramatically helps with ease of casualty recovery. The remote location of an a-frame hoist also provides additional assistance for particularly awkward recoveries (such as casualties in stretchers) .

As of 2006, each Trent class lifeboat is complemented with an array of advanced technologies. Each device provides full assistance in search and rescue operations, and therefore must be of an officially high standard. The comprehensive electronics fit includes full radio equipment including Navtex Multi-Frequency, Marine Very High Frequency and DSC installations. For navigation the crew utilize an array of digital select systems including DGPS equipment, and an electronic Laserplot chart display and information system which allows complete automated management via the vessel's on-board processors (autohelm), although comparatively infrequent in practice.

VHF/DF, radar and weather sensors are other features pertaining to the lifeboat. Provisions for survivors include complete First Aid Equipment including the Basket and Neill Robertson stretchers, oxygen and Entonox breathing systems, ambulance pouch, thermodynamic food canisters and even sick bags for ailing casualties. Trent's house a small toilet arrangement, while the afterdeck houses a salvage pump in a water-tight container for use in inter-vessel salvage, while the presence of two fire hoses allow proficient fire fighting. The Trent carries an inflatable XP-boat which is powered by a 5 hp outboard engine, and can be deployed in slight conditions to gain access to rocks or beaches when an inshore lifeboat is otherwise unavailable.


ON[lower-alpha 1] Op. No.[lower-alpha 2] Name In service Principal Station Comments
1180 14-01 Earl and Countess Mountbatten of Burma 1994– Relief fleet
1197 14-02 Esme Anderson 1994– Ramsgate
1198 14-03 Blue Peter VII 1994– Fishguard
1199 14-04 Roy Barker I 1995– Alderney
1200 14-05 Anna Livia 1995– Dun Laoghaire
1204 14-06 Windsor Runner (C.S. No. 42) 1995–2004
Relief fleet
1205 14-07 Frederick Storey Cockburn 1995– Courtmacsherry Harbour
1206 14-08 Douglas Aikman Smith 1996– Invergordon
1207 14-09 Sir Ronald Petchell Bt. 1995–2008 Dunbar Damaged beyond repair March 2008[4]
1208 14-10 Samarbeta 1996– Great Yarmouth and Gorleston
1209 14-11 Barclaycard Crusader 1996– Eyemouth
1210 14-12 Forward Birmingham 1996–2008
Relief fleet[5]
1211 14-13 George and Ivy Swanson 1996– Sheerness
1212 14-14 George and Mary Webb 1996– Whitby
1213 14-15 Henry Heys Duckworth 1996– Relief fleet
1214 14-16 Stanley Watson Barker 1996– Portree
1215 14-17 Elizabeth and Ronald 1996– Dunmore East
1222 14-18 Maurice and Joyce Hardy'’ 1996– Fowey
1223 14-19 Ger Tigchelaar 1997– Arklow
1224 14-20 Roy Barker II 1997– Wick
1225 14-21 MacQuarie 1997–2004
Relief fleet
1226 14-22 Edward Duke of Windsor 1997– Relief fleet
1227 14-23 Mora Edith MacDonald 1997– Oban
1228 14-24 Dora Foster McDougall 1997– Relief fleet
1233 14-25 Austin Lidbury 1998– Ballycotton
1234 14-26 Gough Ritchie II 1998– Port St Mary
1239 14-27 Robert Hywell Jones Williams 1999– Fenit
1240 14-28 Sam and Ada Moody 1999– Achill
1245 14-29 Inner Wheel II 2000– Barry Dock
1246 14-30 Dr John McSparran 2000– Larne
1252 14-31 Elizabeth of Glamis 2001– Broughty Ferry
1253 14-32 Corinne Whiteley 2001– Relief fleet
1258 14-33 Roy Barker III 2002– Howth
1259 14-34 Willie & May Gall 2002– Fraserburgh
1266 14-35 John Neville Taylor 2002–2008
Relief fleet
1267 14-36 Saxon 2003– Donaghadee
1274 14-37 Betty Huntbatch 2003– Hartlepool
1275 14-38 Jim Moffat 2004– Troon
  1. ON is the RNLI's Official Number of the boat.
  2. Op. No. is the RNLI's Operational Number of the boat carried on the hull.


  1. Wake-Walker, Edward (2008). The Lifeboats Story. Stroud: Sutton Publishing. pp. 59–72. ISBN 978-0-7509-4858-6.
  2. Denton, Tony (2009). Handbook 2009. Shrewsbury: Lifeboat Enthusiasts Society. pp. 32–35.
  3. Leach, Nicholas (2002). Fowey Lifeboats, an Illustrated History. Stroud: Tempus Publishing. p. 108. ISBN 0-7524-2378-9.
  4. Leach & Denton (2013). Lifeboat Directory. Preston: Ships In Focus Publications. p. 118. ISBN 978-1-901703-30-6.
  5. Salsbury, Alan (2010). pp. 129–140. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  6. Leach & Denton (2013). Lifeboat Directory. Preston: Ships In Focus Publications. p. 127. ISBN 978-1-901703-30-6.
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