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The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), a charity registered in England and Wales (209603), Scotland (SC037736), the Republic of Ireland (20003326), the Bailiwick of Jersey (14),
the Isle of Man (1308 and 006329F), the Bailiwick of Guernsey and Alderney | RNLI (Sales) Ltd | RNLI Shop (registration number 2202240 and RNLI College Ltd (registration number
7705470) both companies registered in England and Wales at West Quay Road, Poole, BH15 1HZ. Images and copyright © RNLI 2021.
We save lives by providing a 24-hour lifeboat search and rescue service,
seasonal lifeguards, water safety education and initiatives and flood rescue response.
ATLANTIC 85 ‘B’ CLASS INSHORE LIFEBOAT
Sheila and Dennis Tongue II
A manually operated righting
mechanism can be deployed
in the event of a capsize.
Two 115hp 4-stroke engines give this lifeboat a
good top speed. The engines are inversion-
proofed so that they shut down in the event of
a capsize and can be restarted after the
lifeboat has been righted.
The name Atlantic is derived from
Atlantic College in South Glamorgan,
where the rigid inflatable B class was
first developed. ‘85’ refers to her
length of nearly 8.5m.
All lifeboats have a unique identification number. The first part of the
inshore lifeboat’s number indicates the class. All B class lifeboats
begin with B and the numerals after the dash refer to the build
number, so the first B class Atlantic 85 to be built was given the
Medical equipment is stowed
aboard, including oxygen and
full resuscitation kit,responder
pouch and stretcher.
Lifeboats are fitted with the most up-to-date
equipment, such as global positioning system
(GPS), which our crew members are highly trained
to use. A radar allows the crew to operate
effectively in poor visibility aided by VHF direction-
finding equipment. An electronic chart is also used
VHF radio, intercom and
hand-held VHF ensure
example between the
crew and Coastguard,
Sheila and Dennis Tongue II is launched by
a TALUS MB-4H TRACTOR jointly
developed by RNLI & Clayton Engineering
It can be safely operated to a depth of 1.6m
in level sea conditions
Weight: 9.38 tonnes
Propulsion: 4 wheel drive
Engine: Caterpillar 3114, 4 cylinder, 105hp -
Max. Speed: 22mph
Winch Wire Pull: 5 tonnes
In the event of the machine getting into difficulties it can be battened down and left on
the sea bed and recovered at low tide. The cab is specially designed to fully flood in
order to provide stability, when submerged.
Replacement Cost (2003) £250,000
A helm is responsible for the inshore lifeboat and the
crew members onboard. They lead the rescue to
ensure the lifeboat gets to where it needs to be and
that casualties are given the appropriate care. A helm
will have years of experience as a volunteer crew
member, and be trained to the highest levels in areas
including navigation, search and rescue, casualty
care, leadership and team management.
Many rescues take place at night and can involve being
close to dangerous cliffs and man-made structures, or
searching caves and crevices. Being able to illuminate the
surrounding area with a searchlight, night-vision
equipment and parachute illuminating flares, helps keep
crew members safe as well as locate those in need of
Replacement Cost £241,000
Atlantic 85: facts and figures
3 hours maximum
2 x Yamaha 4-stroke;
carbon fibre and foam
includes epoxy glass
and foam sandwich
In service at Looe Lifeboat Station since September 2016, the
Sheila and Dennis Tongue II is a rigid inflatable lifeboat
developed at the RNLI Inshore Centre at Cowes in 2005
What kind of lifeboat is this?
The Atlantic 85 is a B class inshore lifeboat, so she’s designed
to operate in shallower water. There’s no wheelhouse, so the
crew (usually 3–4) are exposed to the elements at all times.
When it comes to heading to the scene, the Atlantic 85 is one of
the fastest in the fleet: her top speed is 35 knots. She has
inflatable sponsons and a rigid hull.
How is the Atlantic 85 launched?
She is taken to the sea from the boathouse on a carriage, pulled
or pushed by a tractor.
What sort of rescues is the Atlantic 85 designed for?
Inshore lifeboats like this one are ideal for rescues close to
shore or cliffs, among rocks, or even in caves. They can handle
fairly challenging open sea conditions too – the Atlantic 85 can
operate in a force 7 in daylight and at night to force 6 winds.