The Queen’s lifeboat station opening remembered

Lifeboats News Release

News of the death of Queen Elizabeth strikes a particularly poignant note at Cowes RNLI lifeboat station

The Queen admires the commemorative board she had just unveiled.


Her Majesty unveils the commemorative board.

For it was here on 25th July 2012 that history was made when for the first time in her long reign Her Majesty officially opened an RNLI lifeboat station - although she was a long-time patron of the life-saving charity.

Now prominently displayed at the entrance to the station is the handsome board she unveiled on that day; and framed in the main crew room are a whole collection of photographs of the event.

Mark Southwell, the station’s Operations Manager, said: “The sad death of HM The Queen reminds us at Cowes Lifeboat how lucky we were to welcome her and Prince Philip on the last day of the 2012 Diamond Jubilee tour.

“Everything sparkled and everyone was happy. The sun shone and the harbour looked magnificent. Whilst with us she made us feel as though our station, lifeboat and volunteers were all that mattered to her and the Duke. The 25 minutes seemed to be ages.

“We remember her with great fondness, and her always being polite, friendly and professional. The epitome of service and dedication.

“It was a Royal moment in the sun for Cowes RNLI; a treasured memory for everyone there on the day.”

The lifeboat station, pictured from the adjoining Cowes Parade.

RNLI/George Chastney

Cowes Lifeboat Station.

RNLI/George Chastney

A large frame showing the many photographs of Her Majesty at the Cowes 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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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.