Christmas season begins at Whitstable RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

The Christmas season started at Whitstable RNLI station this weekend with crewmembers and volunteers active with two fundraising activities and of course busy in the station souvenir shop.

Paul Moore, Pete Fenton, Steve Gray and Joe Lovett ready to set of from Whitstable to the flank station at Margate during the Kent RNLI Reindeer cycle relay on Saturday

RNLI/Chris Davey

Paul Moore, Pete Fenton, Steve Gray and Joe Lovett ready to set of from Whitstable to the flank station at Margate during the Kent RNLI Reindeer cycle relay on Saturday.

On Saturday crewmembers and volunteers took part in the Kent RNLI 'Reindeer' cycle relay involving teams from all of the RNLI stations. The intention was to complete a relay around the Kent coast in a day with the Whitstable team of crewmembers Paul Moore, Pete Fenton and Joe Lovett accompanied by Social Media Officer Steve Gray cycling to our flank station in Margate supported throughout by Branch Chair Kellie Gray, Trainee Helm Ruth Oliver and her mum Andrea.


Crewmember Joe Lovett said “We all started as a pack and after Reculver we were cycling into a strong headwind all the way to Margate which made it tough going and we arrived after about an 1 ½ hours. Pete Fenton broke away from us and arrived first with myself, Steve Gray and Paul Moore following amazingly Paul had earlier taken part in the Whitstable Park Run. We were well received by the Margate crew who supplied us with most welcome tea and biscuits”.


Branch Chair Kellie Gray reported that “So far the Whitstable team had raised £682 and station supporters can still support Whitstable RNLI via the following link”: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/rnliwhitstable


Then on Sunday the RNLI's Stormy Stan was on hand to Welcome Father Christmas to the station and accompanied him and Mrs Christmas along the South Quay to his grotto in a hut in the Whitstable Harbour Village who had organised his visit and have supplied the presents with the aim of raising funds for Whitstable lifeboat.

On his way the trio greeted many visitors and locals and popped in to the new South Quay Shed shopping mall and catering outlet to 'show' the RNLI flag and greet yet more admiring children of 'all' ages!


Meanwhile the stations souvenir shop as been open all weekend and despite the chilly weather been very busy with shop volunteer Anne-Marie Kean reporting that “ By Sunday afternoon nearly all this year's Christmas cards have been sold although we still have reasonable supplies of calendars, diaries and other RNLI merchandise in stock for those in search of stocking fillers”.


Whitstable Lifeboat Branch Chair Kellie Gray said “My thanks go to the crewmembers, volunteers, the Whitstable Harbour Village , station supporters and members of the public who have helped get the Christmas season off to a good start at the station in the increasingly difficult economic climate”.


“The the monies raised will continue finance both this station and the RNLI with its continuing mission of saving lives at sea. The lifeboat has launched to 34 calls so far this year and although the Christmas season has only just begun can I ask our supporters to make a note that on January 8th we will be holding the second Christmas tree chipping session run for us by Alex Bird Tree Surgeons Ltd outside the boathouse from 10.00 am which we hope will as last year prove a valuable fundraising exercise”.

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 [email protected]

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


Stormy Stan, Father and Mrs Christmas popped into the South Quay Shed to meet Teddy, five and Ella eight whilst on their way to the Whitstable Harbour Village on Sunday.

RNLI/Chris Davey

Stormy Stan, Father and Mrs Christmas popped into the South Quay Shed to meet Teddy, five and Ella eight whilst on their way to the Whitstable Harbour Village on Sunday.
Father and Mrs Christmas along with Stormy Stan with friends and admirers of all ages at the Grotto supplied by the Whitstable Harbour Village on Sunday

RNLI/Chris Davey

Father and Mrs Christmas along with Stormy Stan with friends and admirers of all ages at the Grotto supplied by the Whitstable Harbour Village on Sunday
Stormy Stan escorts Father and Mrs Christmas from the lifeboat station to the Whitstable Harbour Village on Sunday.

RNLI/Chris Davey

Stormy Stan escorts Father and Mrs Christmas from the lifeboat station to the Whitstable Harbour Village on Sunday.
Stormy Stan, Father and Mrs Christmas accompanied by Alfie, five and Alice, eight whilst on their to the Whitstable Harbour Village on Sunday.

RNLI/Chris Davey

Stormy Stan, Father and Mrs Christmas accompanied by Alfie, five and Alice, eight whilst on their to the Whitstable Harbour Village on Sunday.
Shop volunteer Anne-Marie Kean with the almost empty shelves that contained Christrmas cards after a busy weekend in the RNLI shop at Whitstable on Sunday.

RNLI/Chris Davey

Shop volunteer Anne-Marie Kean with the almost empty shelves that contained Christmas cards after a busy weekend in the RNLI shop at Whitstable 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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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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