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A glimpse of the future for Margate lifeboat station

Lifeboats News Release

Volunteer crew and local supporters at Margate's RNLI lifeboat station have had a taste of the future with the visit of a Shannon class all-weather lifeboat and its high-tech launching rig to the station.

The relief Shannon class lifeboat is put through its paces at Margate (RNLI Margate)


The relief Shannon class lifeboat is put through its paces at Margate (RNLI Margate)

The RNLI is committed to replacing the existing end-of-life Mersey class lifeboat at Margate with a new and faster state-of-the-art art Shannon class boat which will improve the service provided to Thanet's water users and passing seafaring community. To accommodate the new lifeboat, the RNLI is also working to relocate the lifeboat station following the earlier withdrawal of plans for a new boathouse on the main Marine Sands.

A Shannon class lifeboat from the RNLI's relief fleet was in the area together with its launching rig and the opportunity was taken to stop off at Margate for one day to carry out launch and recovery trials and allow the station's volunteer crew to experience for the first time the new system. It also provided them with the opportunity to go afloat in their local area and experience the new waterjet-powered lifeboat which is fifty percent faster than the station's current all-weather lifeboat.

Paul Hodson, RNLI Margate lifeboat operations manager said: 'We are all very excited about what the future holds for the station which has served the local community now for 157 years. The new boat and launching system is completely different to our existing arrangement, so letting the crew see it in operation under RNLI supervision was a valuable opportunity to prepare for the future. Just as importantly we are keen to give our supporters and public in general a glimpse into how we are working as hard as we can to provide the best possible service to keep Thanet's waters safe for locals and visitors alike.'


RNLI Media contacts

  • Peter Barker, RNLI Margate Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer 07974 064304

  • Tim Ash, RNLI Public Relations Manager (London/East/South East) 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 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.

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 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