New craft at Sheerness RNLI lifeboat station is quickly in action

Lifeboats News Release

The new D Class lifeboat now in service at the Sheerness RNLI lifeboat station was called out twice on the same day.

Delivered precisely on time at 4.30pm on Thursday 11 August the new inshore lifeboat (ILB) was ready for operational duties at 6.00pm after being checked over and the engine run up by the Sheerness RNLI lifeboat volunteers.

The new RHIB lifeboat, number D799 and named ‘Buster’, was delivered fully equipped with all new safety equipment, navigational aids and a 50hp Mariner engine to replace the long serving D class ILB ‘Eleanor’

Having been in service for ten years and in that time racking up over 860 operational hours and being involved in literally hundreds of rescues of all different kinds, some just run of the mill and others where lives were at risk, ‘Eleanor’ has now gone down to the RNLI College at Poole where she will be used as a training craft for existing and new lifeboat crew members.

Having hardly had time to settle in and getting wet for the first time ‘Buster’ was called in to action twice on Saturday 13 August.

The first call came at 2.22pm when a 10 metre yacht ‘Chodo’ got in to difficulties off Dead Man’s Island in the Medway estuary.

The yacht with one male and one female on board had a jammed head sail and with the ILB alongside managed to motor in to Queenborough Harbour where with assistance from the crew it was secured on to a mooring.

The ILB was back on station at 3.23pm

The second call came at 8.45pm when the lone male occupant of a 5metre Larsson speedboat called for assistance after reporting that the boats freshwater discharge pipe had burst and the boat was filling with water.

The craft was quickly located near to Kingsnorth Power Station having been taken in tow by a trawler yacht which had been close by at the time.

The ILB took over the tow and returned the speedboat and its thankful owner to The Strand in Gillingham.

ILB helmsman Clive Hancock said :’ Buster’ performed perfectly on both these routine jobs and will no doubt be as good a workhorse as ‘Eleanor’ has been over the last ten years.’

The ILB returned to station at 10.15pm


Media contacts:

Vic Booth RNLI Lifeboat Press Officer (Sheerness)  07926904453 / 01795 880544 /

• Tim Ash, RNLI Public Relations Manager (London/East/South East) on 0207 6207426, 07785 296252

For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a normal year, more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.