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Gravesend RNLI assist with a drifting jetty and vessel in strong winds.

Lifeboats News Release

For the second time today in the freezing cold weather and strong winds the lifeboat launched to assist the PLA (Port of London Authority) with a 20-metre piece of jetty, which had become detached because of the strong winds, that was adrift in Gravesend Reach near to the lifeboat station.

Broken away jetty alongside PLA vessel

RNLI/Alan Carr

Broken away jetty alongside PLA vessel

With the piece of jetty now under control and tied alongside the PLA launch, the lifeboat was requested to assist with a Border Force RIB that was close to breaking adrift from the Customs Jetty which was also located close to the lifeboat station, part of the pier had broken away from the main pier.

The lifeboat crew managed to free the RIB, and tow away to safety and onto a mooring in Gravesend Reach.

The lifeboat was then stood down and returned to station.

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, South & East London.


RNLI media contacts

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

  • Paul Dunt, RNLI Reginal Media Officer (South East)

0207 6207416 / 07786 668825,

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

Border force RIB being towed by lifeboat

RNLI/Alan Carr

Border force RIB being towed by lifeboat

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 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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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