Exciting opportunities to play a key role in saving lives at Portsmouth RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

Portsmouth RNLI lifeboat station is looking for three key people to help lead the station’s volunteers in saving lives at sea.

Portsmouth RNLI is looking for a Lifeboat Operations Manager to lead it into the future.

RNLI/Nicholas Leach

Portsmouth RNLI is looking for a Lifeboat Operations Manager to lead it into the future.

The station is one of the busiest in the country and plays a key role in keeping people in the Solent safe. Last year the highly trained volunteers at the station, based in Langstone Harbour, launched 54 times, aided 46 people and saved five lives.

Now the RNLI is looking for a new Lifeboat Operations Manager (LOM) to lead the team of volunteers at Portsmouth, oversee the general running of the station and play a crucial part in getting its two state-of-the-art lifeboats launched.

The volunteer LOM role would be ideal for someone who is used to managing a team of people, making decisions under pressure, looking to the future, solving problems and who wants to lead from the front in saving lives at sea.

At the same time, the RNLI is looking to recruit two Deputy Launch Authorities (DLAs) at the station. These volunteers assist the Lifeboat Operations Manager in helping carry out the day-to-day management of the station and also authorise the launch of the lifeboats. They will join the existing team of DLAs at Portsmouth.

Mark Southwell, who is Lifeboat Operations Manager at neighbouring Cowes Lifeboat Station, said the most important aspect of the LOM role is providing ‘clear, consistent leadership with thought for the individual – and a smile’!

‘It’s a privilege to lead committed, willing and happy people,’ said Mark. ‘Your role is to create an open, fair and professional culture. I’ll not pretend it’s not a challenge at times. The demands of role can overwhelm if not managed well. There is support for you from the RNLI, but the most useful day to day support is from within your own station. These challenges are what makes it a very rewarding role’.

‘In return you can watch the station members develop their skills, progressing through their training, managing a department and achieving great things in areas which many may not have thought possible when they joined. The icing on the cake is to have your station recognised by the RNLI, our search and rescue partners and the town as an example to others’.

Max Gilligan, who is a Deputy Launch Authority at Selsey Lifeboat Station, said the role is a great way of being involved in the operational side of the station: ‘It comes with a lot of responsibilities, including taking the initial call from HM Coastguard about an incident they may have ongoing, and agreeing the launch of the lifeboat’.

‘As the duty deputy launch authority you get involved in all station matters from exercises to roller shutter doors failing to open. We at Selsey have four DLAs who stand in for the Lifeboat Operations Manager on a regular basis, so we all get experience,’ explained Max.

Volunteers who join the RNLI receive world-class training, both on station and at the RNLI’s purpose-built headquarters in Poole. Maritime experience is an advantage in both roles, but more important is experience in managing people and bringing the best out of them.

For more details and to apply for the roles please use the following links:

Portsmouth Lifeboat Operations Manager (LOM):


Portsmouth Deputy Launch Authority (DLA):


Note to Editors:

Portsmouth Lifeboat Station has been providing search and rescue for the eastern Solent since 1965. The crews have won four medals for gallantry and currently operate two inshore lifeboats.

The station’s B class Atlantic 85 lifeboat Norma T is one of the fastest lifeboats in the fleet with a top speed of 35 knots. Although designed as an inshore lifeboat, making it ideal for rescues close to shore, near cliffs and rocks, it can also handle challenging open sea conditions.

The station also has a D class lifeboat The Dennis Faro, named in honour of the station’s most highly decorated volunteer. The D class inshore lifeboat has been the workhorse of the RNLI for more than 50 years. It is highly manoeuvrable and comes into its own for searches and rescues in surf, shallow waters and confined locations – often close to cliffs, among rocks and even inside caves.

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Last year Portsmouth RNLI launched 54 times and saved five lives - photo of the D class lifeboat in Langstone Harbour.

RNLI/Nicholas Leach

Last year Portsmouth RNLI launched 54 times and saved five lives.
The station has two lifeboats and this year named its new D-class lifeboat.

RNLI/Nicholas Leach

The station has two lifeboats and this year named its new D-class lifeboat.
The station's D-class lifeboat 'The Dennis Faro'.

RNLI/Nicholas Leach

The station's D-class lifeboat 'The Dennis Faro'.

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.