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 as a result of the findings of the Thames Safety Inquiries into the collision between the pleasure cruiser The Marchioness and the dredger Bowbelle, which resulted in the loss of 51 lives in 1989. 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.
A relief D class lifeboat D-477 Pride of Nuneaton and Bedworth 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.
Internal alterations to the boathouse completed in April at a cost of £112,239.
A new station D class lifeboat D-576 Spirit of the Thames was placed on service on Monday 24 June. This lifeboat was funded by various fundraising activities carried out in the local area, organised by the Twickenham and Teddington fundraising branch. Lifeboat D-477 Pride of Nuneaton and Bedworth was returned to the Relief Fleet.
The lifeboat Spirit of the Thames was officially named on Saturday 7 June at Teddington lifeboat station.
Relief lifeboat D-456 Jonathan Simpson was placed on service on 30 October 2003 until 30 January 2004.
At a meeting of the Trustee Committee it was decided that Teddington lifeboat station be granted a second D class lifeboat. One is ostensibly to cover the tidal reaches and the second to cover up river to the west of the lock.
The new class of lifeboat IB1, D-648 Spirit of Mortimer was placed on service on 20 May.
The lifeboat D-743 Olwen & Tom was placed on service on 09 December 2010. Lifeboat D-576 Spirit of the Thames has been withdrawn.