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Whitstable saddened at passing of Diane Lamberton, Chair of Fundraising.

Lifeboats News Release

Whitstable RNLI Lifeboat Station has been saddened by the news of the sudden death of Diane Lamberton, Chair of the Whitstable RNLI fundraising branch.

Diane Lamberton.

RNLI/Chris Davey

Diane Lamberton, Chair of the Whitstable RNLI fundraising branch who passed away on Wednesday. Picture: RNLI Whitstable

Diane collapsed at the station on Wednesday afternoon 11 January, whilst working in the station shop with husband Larry. Despite the efforts of the crew, paramedics and ambulance personnel they were unable to revive her. She had just celebrated her 81st birthday.

Diane had been on Whitstable RNLI’s fundraising committee for over 50 years, since the station was established in 1963, when in the early days she and other wives would gather to make tea for the lifeboat crew whilst awaiting their return from a lifeboat call-out.

The committee under its first chair, Mary Hardy and subsequently Linda Livingstone became a vibrant fundraising group for the station and the RNLI and Diane took over in November 1986 to become the third chairman in the station’s 53-year history.

Supported by the many other volunteers, Diane continued to build up the support activities and developed the station souvenir shop and ‘galley’ into what has now become an important asset to the station. In doing so she made an invaluable contribution to funding the day to day running of the lifeboat station in Whitstable, which is among the busiest stations in Kent.

Whitstable RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Mike Judge said: ‘Diane was well known throughout the local community for working tirelessly for the RNLI and liaising with other local fundraising groups.

‘She carried out an enormous amount of unseen work and was also a personal friend to many of the crew and their partners.

‘The whole of the RNLI family will miss her greatly and we will endeavour to support Larry and her family at this time”.

Diane’s funeral will be at Barham Crematorium on Tuesday 31st January at 3.20pm.

RNLI media contacts
  • Chris Davey, Whitstable RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, on 07741 012004 or
  • 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 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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The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland