See the lifeboats behind the rescues at charity's new visitor centre

Lifeboats News Release

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution has built its inshore lifeboats at the charity’s Inshore Lifeboat Centre in East Cowes since 1963. Now, thanks to a new Visitor and Heritage Centre at the site, you can see the work that goes into creating a lifesaving boat for yourself.

The Visitor and Heritage Centre at the Inshore Lifeboat Centre in East Cowes

RNLI/Nathan Williams

The Visitor and Heritage Centre at the Inshore Lifeboat Centre in East Cowes

The Visitor and Heritage Centre depicts the history of the charity at the East Cowes site, and visitors can learn about how the charity’s D class and Atlantic 85 class lifeboats are built, by going on a free tour of the site.

Up to 50 inshore lifeboats are built at the Inshore Lifeboat Centre ever year, by the team of 70 highly skilled people who work to refit and build the charity’s fleet of inshore lifeboats. A lifeboat is completed at the facility every 59 hours: either built from new, or refitted to ensure it has the latest technology onboard and is up to the high specifications required by the lifesaving charity for its volunteer crews.

Glyn Ellis MBE, ILC Operations Manager for the RNLI said, ‘We’re very proud of what we do here at the RNLI, and what we achieve here at the Inshore Lifeboat Centre. Our inshore lifeboats are the workhorses of the RNLI, and were involved in approximately 60% of the RNLI’s lifeboat launches last year.

‘The new RNLI Visitor and Heritage Centre at the Inshore Lifeboat Centre in East Cowes has something for all ages, allowing people to see what goes into making the inshore lifeboats – such as those that have appeared on Saving Lives at Sea. Families will particularly enjoy the D class in the Visitor Centre, as well as the interactive elements to engage children on the importance of sea safety.’

To find out more about the RNLI’s new Visitor and Heritage Centre at the ILC, and to book a free tour, please visit: https://rnli.org/what-we-do/lifeboats-and-stations/building-our-lifeboats/inshore-lifeboat-centre

Notes to editors

RNLI media contacts

For more information please telephone Jennifer Clough, RNLI Press Officer on 01202 336789, or email Jennifer_Clough@rnli.org.uk or contact the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789.

An inshore lifeboat is gel coated orange. Just one of the many things you'll see on the tour

RNLI/Nathan Williams

An inshore lifeboat is gel coated orange. Just one of the many things you'll see on the tour

RNLI/Nathan Williams

Working on a component for one of the inshore lifeboats
D class lifeboat in action

RNLI/Nathan Williams

D class lifeboat in action

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a normal year, more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

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 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.

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