The D class lifeboat is one of three classes of inshore lifeboat (ILB) – the B, D and E classes.
The D class has been the workhorse of the service for over 50 years. The inflatable D class is highly maneuverable 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.
In 2010, D class lifeboats launched 2,401 times and rescued 1,639 people, saving 103 lives.
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 was introduced in 2003.
Equipment includes both fitted and hand-held VHF radio, night-vision equipment, and first aid kit including oxygen.
|Date introduced:||1963 but design has continued to evolve ever since|
|Launch type:||Trolley or davit|
|Number in fleet:||155|
|Max speed:||25 knots|
|Range/endurance:||3 hours at maximum speed|
|Engines:||1 x Mariner at 40 or50hp|
Watch the D Class being constructed via webcam in its own purpose built manufacturing facility in Cowes. Scroll down the Inshore Lifeboat Centre page to select from the list of live webcams: