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Double Celebration at Whitstable RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

It will be a double celebration at Whitstable Lifeboat Station as it celebrates its 60th anniversary and also six decades since the introduction of inshore lifeboats into RNLI service.

A 'D' Class Lifeboat in the early day's of Whitstable. RNLI.

RNLI Whitstable.

A 'D' Class Lifeboat in the early day's of Whitstable RNLI.
From inception Whitstable RNLI was and was among the first stations to be so equipped and in the first summer of operation received the first of several ‘D’ Class lifeboats which were to serve the station through its formative years.

Initially Whitstable was summertime only station but soon moved to all year-round operations and later gained the first of a series of larger ‘B’ Class lifeboats ranging from the Atlantic 21 type to the current Atlantic 85 boat.

Whitstable Lifeboat Operations Manager Mike Judge said “These fast and highly manoeuvrable lifesaving craft answered the need for a quicker and more agile response to rescues in areas of water that were more challenging to the larger and slower all-weather lifeboats such as are found in our area of operations from the Kingsferry Bridge in The Swale, around the South Eastern coast of Sheppey and along the coast through Whitstable and Herne Bay to just beyond Reculver.

Speaking about the current inshore lifeboat based at Whitstable Helm Ruth Oliver said “The Atlantic 85 lifeboat is a very capable lifeboat to work with. Whether you’re heading to the scene of an incident, conducting a careful search or carrying out the actual rescue, she’s got all the power and kit you could want”.

According to RNLI stats since 1963 Whitstable’s lifeboats have launched 2868 times with 3102 lives saved and a further 2108 persons aided and to celebrate this station will be celebrating 60 years of service this July with an exhibition at Whitstable Museum from July 3rd through July, and an open weekend over the weekend 22/23rd.

Whitstable RNLI Deputy Launching Authority and exhibition organiser Kellie Gray said, “We feel Whitstable Lifeboat is part of the community and over the year’s we have enjoyed the support from residents of not only Whitstable but also the other towns covered by our lifeboats and in addition the many visitors to the town”.

“Without them our volunteers both crew and fundraisers would not have been able to maintain our function of saving lives at sea and the statistics released by the RNLI for Whitstable would bear testimony to this and we will welcome visitors to both the display in Whitstable Museum and our open weekend “.

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

RNLI online: For more info


B-516, the first Atlantic 21 Lifeboat to be based at Whitstable.

RNLI/Chris Davey

B-516, the first Atlantic 21 Lifeboat to be based at Whitstable.
'British Diver ' the second Atlantic 21 Lifeboat to be based at Whitstable.

RNLI/Chris Davey

'British Diver ' the second Atlantic 21 Lifeboat to be based at Whitstable.

Picture: Seth Gleeson/RNLI Whitstable.

'Oxford Town and Gown' the Atlantic 75 Lifeboat which was based at Whitstable. Picture: Seth Gleeson/RNLI Whitstable.
Atlantic 85 Lifeboat 'Lewisco' the current Whitstable Lifeboat.

RNLI/Chris Davey

Atlantic 85 Lifeboat 'Lewisco' the current Whitstable Lifeboat.

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.

Learn more about the RNLI

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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