A new search and rescue service for the Thames was announced on Monday 22 January 2001. The Institution was asked by the Government to provide lifeboat cover, this is the first time the Institution has set up lifeboat stations to specifically cover a river rather than estuarial waters, and will come into effect in 2002.
An E class Tiger Marine fast response boat was placed on service at 1200 Wednesday 2 January 2002, when the new search and rescue arrangements for the tidal reaches of the River Thames came into operation.
In a naming ceremony held on Friday 19 July at The Royal Hospital, Chelsea the E class lifeboat E-003 was officially named Chelsea Pensioner.
A New lifeboat E-08 “Dougie and Donna B” was placed on service at Chiswick Lifeboat Station on 23 May 2012. Funded by the generous bequest of Mrs Rosemary Battams.