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The new lifeboat came into service on 19th September 2012

It is a B Class Atlantic 85 named "Richard Wake Burdon"



RNLI lifeboats can be divided into two categories: inshore and all-weather. The B class lifeboat is one of three classes of inshore lifeboat (ILB) – the B, D and E classes. The B class usually operates closer to shore than all-weather lifeboats, in shallower water, close to cliffs, among rocks or even in caves.


There are two types of B class lifeboat – the Atlantic 75 and the Atlantic 85.

The name Atlantic is derived from Atlantic College in Wales, where the rigid inflatable B class was first developed. ‘75’ and ‘85’ are derived from a length of nearly 7.5m and 8.5m respectively. 

The Atlantic 75 was introduced into the fleet in 1993 and the Atlantic 85 in 2005.

The RNLI allows it's various classes of lifeboat a working life of around 20-25 years, so designers and engineers are frequently looking at ways to improve and develop a new class of boat.

Newbiggin Atlantic 75 B class lifeboat was "CSMA 75th Anniversary" and she operated here from August 1998 until September 2012.

She was slightly longer and broader than the previous "21" (the "Kirklees") and her name is derived from her length of nearly 7.5 metres.

Even though her twin 70hp outboard engines made her the fastest lifeboat in the fleet, her hull design provides a softer ride for the crew and the survivors. The three crew sit on a delta-shaped console in the centre of the lifeboat, the helmsman steering with one hand whilst adjusting the throttle with the other.

The lifeboat is fully fitted out by RNLI staff. A roll bar assembly above the engines on the stern of the boat provides the mounting for a self righting bag, stowed flat. In the event of a capsize, a crew member activates a gas bottle to inflate the bag. The lifeboat turns upright in a few seconds.

As part of the Atlantic "B" class of lifeboat, she is a rigid inflatable which can operate in both daylight and darkness.
The engines are inversion-proofed and can restart after a capsize

The Atlantic 75 replacement is an Atlantic 85 B class lifeboat named "Richard Wake Burdon" that began her service at Newbiggin during September 2012.



Atlantic 85 Specifications


The Atlantic 85 design allows room for four crew members and more kit than the Atlantic 75 lifeboat.
She is powered by two 115hp engines and has a stronger hull and greater top speed. The added radar allows the crew to operate more effectively in poor visibility and she also has VHF direction-finding equipment.
A manually operated self-righting mechanism combined with two 115hp 4-stroke inversion-proofed engines keep her operational even after capsize. She is also capable of being beached in an emergency without sustaining damage to engines or steering gear.
The Atlantic 85 carries a full suite of communication and electronic navigation aids, including VHF radio, VHF direction finding, intercom, DGPS and electronic chart, radar and hand-held VHF, as well as a searchlight, night-vision equipment and illuminating paraflares for night-time operations.  
​B class - Atlantic 85
Date introduced:
Launch type:
​Carriage, davit or floating boathouse
Number in fleet:
​38 at station plus 11 in relief fleet
​1.8 tonnes
Max speed:
​35 knots
Fuel capacity:
​210 litres
​2.5 hours
​Hull – carbon fibre and foam core laminate, structure includes epoxy glass and foam sandwich layup
Inflatable collar: hypalon-coated nylon
​2 x Yamaha 4-stroke; 115hp each
Survivor capacity:




Here at Newbiggin we launch and recover our Inshore rigid inflatable Lifeboat using the DoDo (Drive On-Drive Off) Trolley. This is hauled to and from the sea by the use of a Hydrostatic tractor.