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RNLI receives £3.5M donation from the RNVR

Lifeboats News Release

The RNLI has received a generous donation of £3.5M from the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve Officers’ Association (RNVR) to help fund a new floating lifeboat station for the crew at Tower RNLI

Mockup image of the new RNLI Tower Lifeboat station

RNLI/Becky Cheers

Mockup image of the new RNLI Tower Lifeboat Station

The donation will ensure the lifeboat crew at Tower have a station fit for purpose in the future.

Tower Lifeboat Station is the RNLI’s busiest station and is located in the heart of London, at Waterloo Bridge. The RNLI has been raising funds to replace the current station as it is old, cramped and no longer fit for purpose since it lacks the facilities the crew need to give the best possible care to casualties.

This generous donation from the RNVR Officers’ Association will help meet the cost of one of the most crucial parts of the project, the station’s pontoon. Along with a new pontoon, the station will have modern facilities such as private, purpose-built spaces for casualty care, a drying room for kit and a new area for public engagement.

The RNVR made this substantial donation by using funds arising from the sale of its premises at 38 Hill Street Mayfair, the Naval Club, situated only a few miles away from Tower Lifeboat Station. The legacy of the club will live on, with the RNVR’s name prominently displayed across the new lifeboat station.

The Chairman of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve Officers Association, Simon Wilson, said: ‘We are very pleased to be able to donate £3.5 million to the RNLI to help fund a much-needed new station at Tower. We selected the RNLI due to our shared heritage of courage and voluntary service. Following the sale of our Hill Street premises in Mayfair, we were drawn to the new Tower Lifeboat Station project to ensure our London heritage lives on for generations to come. Many of our members who served in World War II came from London and returned to the city to live and work at the end of the war, so it feels appropriate to leave a legacy to them all.’

RNLI Chief Executive, Mark Dowie, said: ‘We are extremely grateful for such a generous donation from the RNVR to help fund our new station at Waterloo Bridge. Tower is the busiest RNLI lifeboat station and since it opened in 2002, it has launched over 9,160 times, rescuing almost 2,000 people and saving over 350 lives.

‘We want to give the crew at Tower the station they deserve, with the proper facilities required for them to carry out their essential lifesaving work. As one of London’s landmarks associated with maritime volunteers is changing hands, we thank the RNVR for supporting the building of a new one devoted to saving lives on the Thames.’

Tower Lifeboat Station Manager, Kevin Maynard said: ‘We are so grateful for this donation. The new station at Tower will have an incredible impact on our crew and the casualties we care for. When we need to urgently carry out CPR, there’s currently no privacy from the general public walking along the bridge.

‘The new station will allow us to carry on doing our lifesaving work in a station that is fit for the future.’

The RNVR Officers’ Association chose to make Tower Lifeboat Station their flagship project among a number of charitable donations and donated £3.5M to the RNLI due to our shared heritage and mutual respect. The RNVR will be badged as a major contributor to the station, within a new engagement space for visitors and alongside a ceremonial bell. This will be a reminder to all that pass by that the RNVR’s ethos of voluntary service and support, lives-on afloat in the city.


RNLI media contacts

For more information, please contact Becky Cheers, RNLI National Media Manager – [email protected]. Alternatively, call the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789 or email [email protected].

RNVR Naval club

RNLI/Becky Cheers

RNVR Naval club

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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