It was not until 1919 that the first motor lifeboat was delivered. It should be noted that there was no motor lifeboat available when the Leinster was torpedoed in 1918 and so the rescue was done mostly from warships and steam fishing boats.
By 1963 the lifeboats had become substationally more mechanised and therefore too big to be housed in a boathouse. Now they had to be kept permanently on moorings.
In 1986 it was decided to add an inshore lifeboat to the fleet, because leisure boating, wildsurfing, and other water sports had become popular. This type of lifeboat was smaller, could respond faster and could navigate shallower areas. Above all it enhanced the RNLI’s ability to meet its primary aim ‘To Save Lives at Sea’.
The lifeboat service is still run by volunteers.
Reproduced with permission from the National Maritime Museum.