Our Lifeboats

Details on our current RNLI Lifeboats

  • Lifeboat class: Trent class - All Weather Lifeboat (ALB)

    The Trent class lifeboat was one of the first ‘hard chine’ hull design for the RNLI. She has the same geometric hull shape as the Severn class and has a sheerline that sweeps down for ease of survivor recovery. In the Trent, the engine room is aft but space limitations led to a novel approach in which one of the twin MAN diesel engines is turned around, driving the propeller in a conventional manner, while the other works through a 'V' drive. Her propellers and rudders lie in partial tunnels set into the hull that, along with the two bilge keels, provide excellent protection from damage in shallow water. The comprehensive electronics include VHF and MF radios with DSC functionality, VHF direction finder, DGPS with electronic chart system and radar. The Trent class carries a small XP boat, an inflatable daughter boat with a 5hp outboard engine capable of 6 knots. This small craft is used to access areas where the lifeboat cannot reach. Comprehensive first aid equipment includes stretchers, oxygen and Entonox. Other equipment includes a portable salvage pump carried in a watertight container.

    Lifeboat nameRoy Barker III
  • Lifeboat class: D class - Inshore Lifeboat (ILB)

    The D class has been the workhorse of the service for nearly 50 years. The inflatable D class is highly manoeuvrable and usually operates closer to shore than all-weather lifeboats and is specifically suited to surf, shallow water and confined locations, often close to cliffs, among rocks or even in caves. Launching from a trolley or davit, the D class lifeboat is ideal for rescues close to shore in fair to moderate conditions. The D class lifeboat has a single 50hp outboard engine and can be righted manually by the crew after a capsize. First introduced into the fleet in 1963, the design of the D class has continued to evolve since its introduction and the latest version (also known as the IB1-type) was introduced in 2003. Equipment includes both fitted and hand-held VHF radio, night-vision equipment, and first aid kit including oxygen.

    Lifeboat nameGeorge Godfrey Benson

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About us

For nearly 190 years an all-weather lifeboat has launched into Dublin Bay from Howth and the crews have been honoured with 20 awards for gallantry. Today the station operates both a Trent class lifeboat and an inshore D class lifeboat. This station is classed as a Discover station. ​Our crews from Discover stations are equally welcoming to visitors but many of these stations were built before visitors were considered. These stations normally open their boathouse doors during the summer months. he station was established prior to 1825 and was taken over by the Institution in 1862 from the Dublin Ballast Board, together with Poolbeg and Kingstown. 1832 Silver Medal awarded to Mr Thomas Jones, Second Mate of the Packet Escape for the rescue by boat of four persons from the sloop John and William on 8 April. 1862 Lifeboat house constructed at a cost of £205. 1863 Howth lifeboat capsized on exercise without loss of life. 1877 Silver Medal awarded to Coxswain John White for gallant services in saving life from shipwreck and especially on the occasion of the rescue of three men from the barque Eva that went aground on Baldoyle Strand in a strong south-easterly gale on 25 March. Despite the lifeboat filling several times she arrived on scene to find the sea making a clean breach over the casualty but still managed to take off the three crew that were lashed in the mizzen rigging 1897 Silver Medal awarded to Thomas Rickard, George Caulfield, James McLaughlan, C Kelly and Edward Rourke for gallant services. On 11 May 1897 the trawler Dodger of Ringsend sprang a leak and signalled to the hooker Storm King of Howth, which took her in tow but she immediately began to sink. The Storm King launched a boat manned by Thomas Rickard and George Caulfield who took off the Dodger’s crew of two but the vessel’s boom fouled the boat and sank it, leaving the four men struggling in the water. They regained and righted the boat but she was capsized three times by rough seas. The hooker Maymaid of Howth then bore down and sent a boat manned by McLaughlan, Kelly and Rourke who picked up the four men incurring great risk to their own boat being capsized. 1899 Lifeboat placed afloat. Old lifeboat house handed over to Board of Public Works. 1900 Arrangements made for using a yawl to board the lifeboat when rough weather prevented the crew from reaching her by pier. 1919 Bronze Medal awarded to Petty Officer Charles Slater, HM Coastguard, and Patrick Rickard, for their endeavours to save the life of a soldier who fell over a cliff at Howth on 18 May 1919. Petty officer Slater, Mr Rickard and two others launched a motor boat in a strong south-south-easterly gale and rough seas and when they arrived on scene Petty Officer Slater jumped overboard and swam to the rocks but found the soldier had been killed. Mr Rickard also entered the water and together they recovered the body. 1930 Centenary Vellum awarded to station. 1947 The owners of the motor vessel Boliver gave the lifeboat crew one hundred guineas after a service on 4 March. 1949 Member of crew Patrick Rourke died from heart attack after answering maroons for service call. 1964 Bronze Medal awarded to Coxswain Joseph McLoughlin for saving the crew of three from the fishing vessel Ros Cairbre whose engine had failed and was being swept onto a lee shore north of Howth lighthouse in a full southerly gale on the night of 14 July 1964. After two and a half miles against a very rough sea and flood tide, the casualty was found under cliffs on the north side of Freshwater Bay. Coxswain McLoughlin went alongside the trawler and made fast; he drew the casualty clear and with her crew of six men aboard, towed her to Howth. 1967 Inshore lifeboat station established with the placing on service of a D class lifeboat. Cost of D class defrayed by Boy Scouts of Ireland Jubilee Fund. 1975 A celebration Vellum awarded to station for the 150th Anniversary. 1976 Bronze Medal awarded to Frank Hendy and the Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum accorded to Mr Tony Brown in recognition of their initiative, determination and excellent seamanship when they put out in an 18ft outboard motor boat and saved the yacht Sula Bassana and her crew of five. The yacht had grounded on rocks in a strong easterly wind, a very heavy and confused sea on 28 August 1976. 1995 Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum was accorded to Coxswain Robert Duffy in recognition of his courage, determination and seamanship when the Duke of Atholl lifeboat made 15 approaches to rescue five of the crew from the fishing vessel Vision which was aground, holed and taking water on Lambay Island, east of Burren Rocks Beacon in a near gale and rough seas and then recovered the remaining survivor stranded on the Island on 30 November 1994. 1996 Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum was accorded to Second Coxswain/Mechanic George Duffy in recognition of his calm leadership, courage and endurance when, after the Howth lifeboat City of Dublin failed to effect a rescue from seaward, he led a team of lifeboatmen along the breakwater in repeated attempts to rescue the four crew of the fishing vessel Scarlet Buccaneer which had gone aground on the outer side of Howth East Pier breakwater and broke up in gale force winds and very rough seas in the early hours of 16 November. Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum was accorded to Deputy Second Coxswain/Assistant Mechanic Ian Sheridan in recognition of his courage, endurance and personal initiative when, from the breakwater, he attempted to rescue the remaining survivor who was still clinging to the wreck after the other three had been washed overboard. All of the crew of the Scarlet Buccaneer were recovered but unfortunately one died whilst en route to hospital. Framed letters of Thanks signed by the Chairman of the Institution, David Acland, was awarded to crew members Eamonn Howard, Michael Duffy and Jim Duffy, a member of the public, Mr Patrick Kelly and individual letters to the aircrew of Helicopter Rescue 122 – Flight Lieutenant Henry Pottle, Flight Lieutenant Patrick Thirkell and Flight Sergeant Alan Falconer. Letters signed by the Director and Chief of Operations were also sent to those principally involved in this incident. 1998 A Framed Letter of Thanks signed by the Chairman of the Institution, David Acland, was awarded to Coxswain Robert Duffy, Second Coxswain George Duffy, Assistant Mechanic Ian Sheridan, crew members Frederick Connolly, Damian Cronin, Eamonn Howard, David Howard, and Brian McConkey for the long and arduous tow of the fishing vessel Emer Marie which was disabled with its trawl fouling its propellor. The Emer Marie was 28 metres long and was 185 tonnes GRT. The service was conducted in Force 10 winds and atrocious conditions. 2002 The new station Trent class lifeboat ON1258 Roy Barker III was placed on service on 11 March. 2006 The new class of lifeboat IB1, D659 George Godfrey Benbow was placed on service on Tuesday 7 Feb. D530 has been withdrawn to the Relief Fleet. MEDAL RECORD Eleven Medals have been awarded, seven Silver and four Bronze, the last being voted in 1976

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  •  01 839 3311 (By Appointment)
  •  noel_davidson@rnli.org.uk
    Howth Lifeboat Station
    Howth Harbour, Middle Pier, Co. Dublin, Republic of Ireland