RNLI - Barmouth Lifeboat Station


Talus MB-H Crawler (as of April 2019 no longer in service at Barmouth, replaced by the SLARS)

Launching a lifeboat is a vital link in saving lives at sea. Operators of launch and recovery equipment often have to push the lifeboat out in raging seas and the dark - so their role is important to the safety of the crew and those they are trying to save.

The training covers every aspect of launching a lifeboat safely and drivers are trained how to safely operate three main launch tractors. At Barmouth you will see only two of these in operation.

The 19 tonne Talus MB-H Crawler (pictured here) launches the Mersey class lifeboat - seen here taking the Barmouth boat Moira Barrie out for a practise launch.

The Talus MB-H was specifically designed for the RNLI, to launch and recover lifeboats from beaches. The Talus MB-H launches and recovers lifeboats, up to 15 tonnes in weight, from beaches, in a safer and faster manner than previously available. It is capable of towing lifeboats, on specially designed carriages, at speeds of up to 12.0 kph over varying beach conditions. It has the ability to work at full power in up to 2.44m of calm water, and can drive and winch simultaneously in order to recover the lifeboat.

The driver has a waterproof, protective cockpit, and duplicated controls, to allow operation of the vehicle whilst facing in either direction. The hydraulic control and drive system utilises a single 'joystick' controller for all transmission functions; this is protected by a 'dead man' pedal. The engine is a Caterpillar 3208 V8 diesel, a feature this machine has in common with some lifeboats. It has, in the event of mechanical failure, the ability to be 'battened down' and abandoned on the sea bed in up to 9.0m of water, without the ingress of sea water. Extensive corrosion protection is employed, to reduce maintenance whilst continuously working in the very hostile environment of sea water and beach conditions. 30 Talus MB-H machines are currently in service with the RNLI at locations around the coastline of the British Isle and Eire.

The Talus MB-H is made by Clayton engineering. If you are interested, more technical details about the Talus MB-H and a video of the Talus launching the Barmouth lifeboat can be seen on the Clayton Engineering website HERE

(Barmouth Lifeboat Station is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.)