Model boats and ships fill Whitstable Lifeboat Station

Lifeboats News Release

It is not often that the Whitstable Lifeboat Station boathouse is home to more than one vessel but on Sunday the building was the temporary home to around 21 boats when the Herne Bay based Heron Model Boat Club held an exhibition in the boat hall.

John Chestnutt with his model of a Liverpool Class lifeboat and fellow members Maureen Cripps and Ray Stockley at the Heron Model Boat Club show held in the Whitstable lifeboat station on Sunday

RNLI/Chris Davey

John Chestnutt with his model of a Liverpool Class lifeboat and fellow members Maureen Cripps and Ray Stockley at the Heron Model Boat Club show held in the Whitstable lifeboat station on Sunday
Amomg the many models on display were warships, fishing vessels and appropriatly enough lifeboats but it seems tugs are very popular with the club members as there were a good number on display and there was even a radio controlled Swan.

The clubs Carl Brunger said “The club have held the show in the boathouse for around 25-years although we have missed the last two as a result of the pandemic and on Sunday we displayed 21 model boats, 2 and 3 radio-controlled lorries”.

“As with previous years visitors were asked to vote for what they thought was their favourite model with the nomination going to John Boyd for his model of the ocean going tug Pacific Typhoon.

Kellie Gray, Chair of the Whitstable fundrasing branch of the RNLI said “We always enjoy having the model boat club with us at the station and they have raised £280 during the day. We also thank them for their efforts in providing another visitor attraction at the station and helping us promote the RNLI and its role of saving lives at sea”

The Heron Model Boat Club currently has 40 members and caters for those who have an interest in all aspects of model boat building, working or static. The club sails two days a week, Wednesday and Sunday, on the freshwater Lake in the Memorial Park at Herne Bay where we hold various club sailing events during the season.


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 IrelandThe 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: (07786) [email protected]


Emilio Abad, eight, inspects one of the model tugs on display at the Heron Model Boat Club show held in the Whitstable lifeboat station on Sunday.

RNLI/Chris Davey

Emilio Abad, eights inspects one of the model tugs on display at the Heron Model Boat Club show held in the Whitstable lifeboat station on Sunday.
Charlotte and Matt Beasley admire the models built by Peter Cripps at the Heron Model Boat Club show held in the Whitstable lifeboat station on Sunday.

RNLI/Chris Davey

Charlotte and Matt Beasley admire the models built by Peter Cripps at the Heron Model Boat Club show held in the Whitstable lifeboat station on Sunday.
Rose Darvell introduces her radio controlled Swan to Whitstable RNLI Branch Chair Kellie Gray at the Heron Model Boat Club show held in the Whitstable lifeboat station on Sunday.

RNLI/Chris Davey

Rose Darvell introduces her radio controlled Swan to Whitstable RNLI Branch Chair Kellie Gray at the Heron Model Boat Club show held in the Whitstable lifeboat station on Sunday.
John Boyd's model of the ocean going tug Pacific Typhoon was voted the visitors favourite mofel at the Heron Model Boat Club show held in the Whitstable lifeboat station on Sunday.

RNLI/Chris Davey

John Boyd's model of the ocean going tug Pacific Typhoon was voted the visitors favourite mofel at the Heron Model Boat Club show held in the Whitstable lifeboat station on Sunday.
Model ships and boats on display at the Heron Model Boat Club show held in the Whitstable lifeboat station on Sunday.

RNLI/Chris Davey

Model ships and boats on display at the Heron Model Boat Club show held in the Whitstable lifeboat station on Sunday.

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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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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