Port St Mary Lifeboat Station- Current Lifeboats


All Weather Lifeboat : "Gough Ritchie II", 14-26, Trent Class ON1234

This new Trent Class lifeboat is the 26th in the series and is 14 metres in length; hence her identification 14-26. This 26.5 tonne boat is made of the latest in fibre reinforced composites in a sandwich monocoque structure. Driven by two MAN V-10, turbo charged 800 hp diesel engines, she is capable of 25 knots, with a range at this speed of 250 nautical miles. Her crew of 7 is provided with the latest navigation and communications equipment, and a wide range of search, rescue and First Aid equipment.

The cost of 1.2 million for the construction of the Lifeboat has been funded by the Gough Ritchie Trust and the late Mrs Milicent Web. Mrs Ann Ritchie was a generous supporter of the RNLI and funded 3 lifeboats during her lifetime. These being the "James Ball Ritchie" at Ramsey , I.o.M.,the "Ann Ritchie" at Oban, Scotland and the "Gough Ritchie " at Port St Mary.On her death in 1990, a trust was established from which the RNLI benefits in receiving one third of the annual income to spend on the RNLI stations and lifeboats in the Isle of Man. Since 1990, the Gough Ritchie trust has already funded a further lifeboat for Ramsey, the 11.77m Mersey Class lifeboat, RNLB "Ann and James Ritchie", ON1171.

On the first leg of her delivery trip to Port St Mary from RNLI HQ at Poole, on 25 April 1998, the "Gough Ritchie II" saved 4 divers who had gone missing between Start Point and the Eddystone Lighthouse, bringing them safely into Salcombe. Nine days later, on a training trip to the south of Ireland, she towed a fishing vessel with a fouled propeller 20 miles into Courtmacsherry, Co. Cork.

These two rescues were before the Gough Ritchie II was offically put into operation at the end of May. She completed a further 8 services in 1998, saving the lives of 12 people.

Details of the " Gough Ritchie II" naming ceremony on 17th July 1999 see Naming Ceremony

Technical details

Length: 14.26m ( 46ft 9in); Beam: 4.9m (16ft 1 in); Introduced : 1993

The 14m Trent is a scaled down version of the 17m Severn Class Lifeboat with a hard chine hull form. Propeller protection is provided by tunnels and by deep bilge keels which allow the boat to take the ground if needed. The boats are self-righting after a capsize.

The hull is subdived into 6 compartments and the wheelhouse contains seating for 6 or 7 crew with provision for one stretcher in the wheel house and another in the forecabin.

The electronics on board includes 2x DGPS (differential satellite navigator), electronic chart-plotting, APRA radar, VHF direction finder, VHF radio, MF radio, echo sounder, speed log, anemometer, autopilot and an intercom system. Rescue equipment includes night vision viewers, a small inflatable dingy, rocket lines, search lights and a salvage pump for use on flooding vessels. An extensive First aid kit including oxygen and enternox (a self administered pain killer).

RNLI Factsheet on Trent class


Since May 1966, a D class lifeboat has been stationed at Port St Mary, complementing the service of the larger lifeboats. Originally only used for the Summer season ( between April and October ). Since 2000 the inshore lifeboat has been on station all year round. The D Class entered service in 1963 and is the workhorse of the RNLI fleet.

Inshore Lifeboat (ILB): D575, "Hounslow"

Allocated in 2002 it is a 16ft (4.9m) inflatable with a manually started 40hp outboard motor giving it a speed of over 20 knots and had a duration of 3 hours at full speed. Crewed by 2 or 3, the ILB can be rapidly launched to nearby emergencies where a smaller boat is more appropriate than the larger lifeboat. Usually used to aid small craft under 25ft and often in shallow coastal waters. The D Class is used during daylight on its own or at night when operating in the company of the all weather lifeboat. The crew kneel on a foam rubber mattress which gives some protection form the pounding and slamming in the waves. Equipment includes a VHF radio, handheld GPS navigation aid, first aid kit, medical oxygen, flares, compass, fire extinguisher, spare propeller and an anchor. Kit for night time use includes night scope and portable search light.

In 2010 D575 was replaced with the latest D class variant

Inshore Lifeboat (ILB): D742 "Spirit of Leicester"

Latest design: IB1 type introduced in 2003
Launch type: Trolley
Crew: 3
Survivor capacity: 5
Maximum speed: 25 knots Range / endurance: 3 hours at maximum speed
Length: 5m  Beam / width: 2m Draught / depth: 0.52m
Displacement / weight: 400kg
Fuel capacity: 68 litres
Engines: 1 x Mariner engine at 50hp - electrically started
Construction: Hypalon-coated polyester
Communications and navigation includes:

With no wheelhouse on the D class lifeboat, the crew are exposed to the elements at all times and rely on their protective kit to keep them safe and warm.
In addition to night vision equipment, the D class lifeboat carries a searchlight and parachute illuminating flares to light up the surrounding area, helping to keep crew members safe as well as locate those in need of help.
Medical equipment is stowed in the bow pod and includes oxygen and full resuscitation kit, responder bag and multi-purpose ambulance pouch.
In the event of a capsize, the D class lifeboat can be righted manually by the crew and her 50hp outboard engine restarted.


Copyright Brian Kelly, PSM RNLI 1999-2020

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Last updated 31 January 2020