Isle of Wight Lifeboats… 10 Things to Know and See

Here on the Island, being surrounded 360º by water - our lifeboats are a living breathing core part of our community. They are run through donations from the public and are manned voluntarily by local people.

Being there when a lifeboat is launched for a ‘shout’ is an exciting, exhilarating and also sobering experience, as you know they are heading off to help someone in trouble at sea.

5 fascinating facts…

1) There are two sorts of lifeboat on the Island, the RNLI lifeboats in Cowes, Yarmouth and Bembridge funded by the national charity, and 3 independent Island lifeboats in Ryde, Sandown & Shanklin and Freshwater, funded purely by local donations.

2) 17 awards for gallantry have been awarded to the Yarmouth RNLI lifeboat crew.

3) When a lifeboat is called out on a rescue and the boat is launched it is known as a ‘shout’. Sometimes shouts can last for many hours especially if the search goes into the Channel. In times like these the RNLI crew have access to ‘hot cans’ special food in a tin that are heated automatically when the lid is removed.

4) Yarmouth lifeboat welcomed its first ever female crew member in 2015. Vicky Tribe became the first female in 91 years to join the volunteer crew.

5) Both RNLI all weather lifeboats have a range of 250 nautical miles and a top speed of 25 knots.

5 ways to see the lifeboats this summer…

Here are a few ways to see the lifeboats on the Island this summer first hand – but from the safety of dry land and not in an emergency!

1) Pop along anytime and see Yarmouth RNLI lifeboat moored up alongside the Quay, check out Cowes RNLI at their Open Days every Bank Holiday Monday, or visit the lifeboat station Offshore Boathouse & Shop at Bembridge, which is open daily between 2pm and 4pm.

2) Take a tour of the RNLI's newly refurbished Yarmouth lifeboat and meet the volunteer crew on Saturday 30th April at the Yarmouth Harbour Spring Festival. Plus, bring along your lifejackets to be checked and serviced to ensure that they are in good working order.

3) Make a date to see the boat launched on crew practice nights -Yarmouth RNLI Thursday at 6pm, Cowes RNLI Thursday at 1930 and Bembridge RNLI Tuesday at 7pm.

4) Enjoy the fantastic display from the Yarmouth RNLI lifeboat and the coastguard helicopter during Yarmouth Carnival Week (13- 20 August).

5) Pop along to the Freshwater Independent Lifeboat open day on Sunday May 29th from 10am to 2.30pm in Freshwater Bay.



Alix Robinson

5 May 2016

By Alix Robinson in Articles