Shannon is now on service at Sheerness


On Friday 30 July 2021 was the start of a new era for the volunteer crews at the Sheerness RNLI Lifeboat station when their new Shannon Class all-weather lifeboat became operational.
The same day, long serving Trent Class Lifeboat 14-13 ‘The George and Ivy Swanson’ was be taken off operational duties, replaced by the long-awaited Shannon Class all-weather lifeboat 13-38 ‘Judith Copping Joyce’.
Not only is the much loved ‘George and Ivy’, as she was affectionately known by crews past and present, retiring but also her equally loved full time Coxswain/Mechanic Robin Castle MBE will shortly be retiring himself, after 40 years of dedicated and illustrious service to the RNLI.
Robin made his last trip on the ‘George and Ivy’ when he sailed to Poole on Sunday 1st August where it is expected that she will become part of the RNLI training fleet.
The new Shannon all-weather lifeboat is under the command of long serving crew member Paul ‘PJ’ Jarvis who stepped up from 2nd Coxswain to become Robin’s replacement as full time Coxswain at Sheerness.
She will be in safe hands as not only is PJ a long serving crew member but along with the other four senior crew members, who between them have notched up 120 years of service at Sheerness.
The ‘George and Ivy Swanson’ arrived on station at Sheerness in 1995, became operational in early 1996 and has been under Robin’s command from day one.
Along with Robin, the ‘George and Ivy’ has also had an illustrious career with 692 callouts resulting in 1054 people aided and 29 lives saved.
The Shannon is expected to be the Sheerness Lifeboat for the next 50 years.
This video captures the arrival of the new Shannon Class Lifeboat, escorted to her moorings at Sheerness by the retiring Trent Class Lifeboat

Below is Robin Castle MBE [ Second from left ] on a final farewell gathering aboard the Trent Class Lifeboat ' George & Ivy Swanson ' and our new Coxswain Mechanic, Paul Jarvis, [ second from right ].

The Lifeboat station is situated at Garrison Point within the Port of Sheerness, Kent which used to be an old naval dockyard.

Our purpose is to save lives at sea and our crew is on call 24hrs a day.

The RNLI is funded by donations from the public.

Our station at Sheerness is ideally positioned to answer the many calls for assistance from mariners in the River Medway and Thames Estuary.

Unfortunately the station is not open to the general public and visits are strictly by appointment however you can see us at various public events locally during the summer months so please keep an eye on our Facebook feed to see when and where.

If you would like to join our crew or know someone who may wish to, check out our volunteering page here.

We thank the local community for their valuable support in helping us continue to save lives at sea and the generous activities, fund raising and general awareness to aid saving lives at sea.

Nigel Budden

Lifeboat Operations Manager