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Prince Michael of Kent visits Cowes Lifeboat Station

Lifeboats News Release

Prince Michael of Kent spent over an hour at the Cowes RNLI lifeboat station today, talking to the station’s volunteers and receiving a guided tour of the station, opened by the Queen in 2012.

 The visit coincided with the period when the station was on full stand-by because of the famous Round the Island race.


He told operations manager Mark Southwell that while he did not have an in-depth knowledge of the RNLI he is Commonwealth President of the Royal Lifesaving Society, and so was particularly interested in the RNLI’s emphasis on water safety through its new Respect the Water campaign.


Accompanied by the Island’s Lord Lieutenant, Prince Michael then heard from the station’s Visits Officer, Penny Maclean, that the RNLI was working in partnership with the society to drastically reduce the number of drownings in the country.


The Prince also met Harry Leslie, who as well as being a Deputy Launching Authority at the station is also a consultant for the RNLI concerning the charity’s new RCAMS system for calling people out and communicating. “I explained that this system puts the RNLI at the forefront of emergency service communication in this country,” said Harry, the senior user on the project.


“The Prince clearly appreciated the pivotal role taken by the RNLI in what is the first emergency service to produce a multi-agency incident transfer capability.”


As part of his tour the Prince climbed up on to the station’s Atlantic 85 lifeboat in the boathouse, and heard about its extensive equipment from boat crew member Mark Harker and shore crew Ian Luff.​ 

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

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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 or by email.


The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland