Well I can assure you gentlmen that vessel would be licenced to carry 50 pax and 2 crew, within 3 mile from mainland, just like her sister vessel, the one pictured towing the Lady Helen to shore, and they are both fully equipped with life rafts for all passengers should the worst happen, however due to the speedy reaction from other boats in the area the rafts weren't necessary and therefore not deployed.
Both vessels are licenced for offshore cruises aswell, then the max of 12 pax applies once past the 3nm from land limit, upto 60nm offshore.
Both vessels are just over 12m with a very wide beam, and have excellent sea handling ability with a very large load line limit, for their size, probably due to the large displacement design and massive solid steel keel, with the engine just forward of midship gives these vessels a perfect balance for the roughest conditions.
I wasn't on the water myself yesterday, otherwise I would've assisted in a shot. my rib is only just under 7m, max 20 people carrying capacity, at least that's what it says in the spec, can't say I'd ever plan to set off with 20 onboard, but if it where an emergency then yes, I would squeeze as many as safely possible on board.
Its just great to hear that all pax were safely rescued by other local boats in the area, saving the discomfort of being rescued from life rafts. Once again well done to those involved
I know there was a few ribs in attendance.