Dave chalks up 30 years with Whitstable Lifeboat

Lifeboats News Release

Whitstable lifeboat Helmsman Dave Parry has passed another milestone in his time with the station by chalking up 30 years’ of service with the RNLI.

Dave Parry who has completed 30 years at Whitstable lifeboat station.

RNLI/Chris Davey

Dave Parry who has completed 30 years at Whitstable lifeboat station.
Dave started with the station in January 1992. “I'd been living in Whitstable for a year or so. I was out angling one day on my boat and saw the lifeboat launch, so I thought I would enquire about joining the station as a shore helper, not expecting to get on the boat”.

“However the station was short of boat personnel, and I was asked if I would consider becoming sea-going crew. I started training, and in July 1992 I was made up to a full crewmember”.

“After 6 years as crew, I was appointed as a helmsman in 1998, and have also acted as launching tractor driver and boat mechanic”.

“Over the years I have been on numerous calls, one of the most memorable being in 2000 when in a Force 9 gale I was helm for the first time on the station's then new Atlantic 75 lifeboat, which launched to assist three people onboard an angling dinghy off Herne Bay. As we came alongside, the dinghy sank, but all onboard were safely recovered to the lifeboat”.

“Another memorable shout was on 20th June 2018, again a call to a capsized dinghy off Herne Bay. Although the service was quite straightforward, the two anglers, who had been in the water for some time, had resigned themselves to their fate, and it would be true to say we got to them just in time”.

Dave, who lives with his wife Helen and has two daughters, Hannah and Amy, who are both in their 20s, has also for the past 20 years been a full-time employee of the RNLI as a helmsman on the Gravesend lifeboat. “As they have an Atlantic 85 class lifeboat, the same as we have here at Whitstable, being on the boat at home is a bit like a busman's holiday!”

Whitstable Lifeboat Operations Manager Mike Judge said “Since joining the station just over 30 years ago, Dave has provided unstinting service to the RNLI, both as a volunteer here at Whitstable for all of that time and for the last 20 years professionally at Gravesend”

“In addition to his role here as a Helmsman, Dave is also the lifeboat mechanic for the Atlantic class lifeboat we have on station”

.“30 years voluntary service is a massive contribution to the safety of the local community and beyond, not just in terms of turning out on windswept nights and at all hours but more subtlety in the assistance he gives to all the different personnel on station, from education officers, fundraisers and of course, the crew with all their duties.

Dave has always taken on much more than could be expected of any volunteer and is a great ambassador for the charity to which he has given so much time and a credit to the station”.


Notes to editors

Whitstable RNLI Lifeboat Station was established in 1963 by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and is one of 237 lifeboat stations around the shores of the UK and Ireland. The volunteer crews provide a maritime search and rescue service for the Kent coast. They cover the area between the Kingsferry Bridge on the Swale, in the west, around the south-eastern side of Sheppey and along the coast through Whitstable and Herne Bay to Reculver in the east and outwards into the Thames Estuary.

The station is equipped with an Atlantic 85 lifeboat named Lewisco, purchased through a bequest of a Miss Lewis of London who passed away in 2006.

She is what is known as a rigid inflatable inshore lifeboat, the boat’s rigid hull being topped by an inflatable sponson. She carries a crew of four people.



RNLI media contacts

Chris Davey, Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, Whitstable Lifeboat Station. 
07741 012004/ [email protected]

Paul Dunt RNLI Press Officer London/southeast/east Tel: 0207 6207416 Mob: (07785) 296252 HYPERLINK "mailto:[email protected]"[email protected]

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



Dave Parry when he first joined Whitstable lifeboat station.

Dave Parry

Dave Parry when he first joined Whitstable 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.

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