Donate now

Dover RNLI welcomes Dutch crew

Lifeboats News Release

Dover lifeboat station recently welcomed six visitors from the Dutch KNRM, the equivalent of the RNLI.

Dover and Dutch Lifeboats side by side in the harbour

RNLI/Jon Miell

The Dover and Dutch Lifeboats in Dover Harbour

The crew members of The Royal Netherlands Sea Rescue Institution (KNRM) visited Dover on their Arie Visser class boat the Koopmansdank.

The Koopmansdank, an all-weather class boat, travelled at an average speed of 32 knots for three hours from their station at Neeltje Jans which is along a storm surge barrier in the south-west of the Netherlands.

The Dutch skipper along with his five crew took the Koopmansdank on an extended sea test after their boat had returned from a major refit.

Dover also has an all-weather boat - the Severn class City of London II. The Severn class is the largest in the fleet and also carries a smaller Y boat ideal for rescues near rocks and shallower waters.

Like the RNLI members of the Dutch KNRM are volunteers. During their visit RNLI volunteers from Littlestone Lifeboat Station also visited on their Atlantic 85 ILB (inshore lifeboat) Fred Clarke.

RNLI Dover Coxswain James Clapham said: ‘It’s always good to meet other volunteers and we are very happy to have hosted our Dutch counterparts. There are times when we may need to work alongside French and Dutch lifeboats in a rescue situation, so it's a great way of establishing relationships. We talked about our different ways of working, with the common goal of saving lives at sea’.

The RNLI announced earlier this month that it will be extending the life of its Severn class lifeboat, such as the City of London ll for another 25 years. There are currently 44 of these 42 tonne lifesaving vessels in the charity's fleet.

The average anticipated cost of each life extension upgrade is £1.25M. This is significantly less than the cost of designing and building a brand-new class of lifeboat to replace the Severn. For context, a Shannon, which is significantly smaller and not as powerful as the Severn, costs £2.2M to build.

The RNLI has launched its ‘Save our Severns’ appeal, with the aim of raising £700,000 to help fund life extension upgrades to these incredible vessels. To donate, visit:

More information is available at:

RNLI Media Contacts:

Deanne Morgan, volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, Dover Lifeboat Station (07747) 616095 [email protected]

Paul Dunt, RNLI Regional Media Officer, South East and London (07785) 296252 [email protected]

RNLI Press office and 24/7 duty press officer (01202) 336789

The crew of the Littlestone RNLI Lifeboat station pictured on their lifeboat

RNLI/Jon Miell

The crew of the Littlestone RNLI Lifeboat station

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 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and 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.