View as PDF

15 Years later and 1500 shouts for Gravesend RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

In the early hours of Monday morning (1 May) the charities lifeboat launched to its 1500 call, with this year being their 15-year anniversary.

RNLI/Alan Carr

Following the Marchioness tragedy, the Thames safety inquiry conducted by Lord Justice Clarke recommended, among other things, a dedicated search and rescue service on the tidal reaches of the River Thames.

Gravesend has been home to a RNLI station since January 2, 2002, during which time it has launched 1500 times, rescued 797 people and saved 69 lives.

None of this could happen without the legacy left by Olive Laura Deare which funded our first and our current lifeboat and the generous donations from the public.

Thanks to all of our partner agencies who we work with on the river and along the shore. Who include the UK Coastguard, Port of London Authority, Metropolitan Police, Kent Police, Essex Police, London Fire Brigade, Kent Fire and Rescue Service, Essex County Fire and Rescue Service, London Ambulance Service, South East Coast Ambulance Service, East of England Ambulance Service and many more. Working together, saving lives.

Thanks for everyone's support and to many more years serving our communities along the River Thames.

Keep up to date with all our rescues and what were up to here:


Facebook: /GravesendRNLI

Twitter: @GravesendRNLI

Notes to editors

Gravesend is one of four lifeboat stations on the River Thames that are operated by the RNLI. Gravesend Lifeboat covers an area from Holehaven, at the western end of Canvey Island, to the Thames Flood Barrier at Woolwich, a distance of 26 miles. A patch which covers Kent, Essex and South London.

RNLI media contacts

  • Alan Carr, Gravesend RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer
    07775 822584,

  • Paul Dunt, RNLI Press Officer (London/East/South East)

0207 6207416 / 07786 668825,

  • 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