In 2021 the Shannon Class Lifeboat ‘ RNLB  Judith Copping Joyce ‘ 13-38 is the new Sheerness Lifeboat with its high tech equipment and jet drive propulsion

In 2021 the Trent class Lifeboat ‘ RNLB George and Ivy Swanson ‘ 14-13 retired from service at Sheerness to join the RNLI training fleet at Poole, Dorset.
Photo Credit to Neil E.

In 2016 the current inshore D class Lifeboat ‘ Buster ‘ D-799 entered service at Sheerness.

In 1969 the Royal National Lifeboat Institution decided to place a Lifeboat at Sheerness on evaluation, the Lifeboat was the “Ernest William and Elizabeth Ellen Hinde ” ON 1017, in 1970 the Committee of Management decided to establish Sheerness as a permanent Lifeboat Station provided a satisfactory berth be made available.

Today Sheerness is one of the busiest Lifeboat stations within the RNLI, regularly launching over 100 times per year between both boats. The station is located within Sheerness Docks which does not have public access however you can see our boats and crew at various public events in and around the Swale area.

Our station, call outs and crew over the years is vast. Some of our milestone dates are listed below.


In 2010 our full time station Coxswain [from 1981′ to 2021], Robin Castle, was awarded an MBE for his services to the RNLI by the HRH Queen Elizabeth. As well as numerous letters of thanks for particular call outs over the years, Robin was also awarded an RNLI bronze medal for service during the great storm of 1987.


Various letters of thanks and memorabilia from the stations history are on display at the Lifeboat station.

We regularly update our Facebook page which can be found on this link

The History of Sheerness Lifeboat Station

1970 The new station Lifeboat “Gertrude” ON 847, a Watson class Lifeboat was placed on service on the 22 nd April and was berthed in the Great Basin in Sheerness Docks.
1971 The earlier decision to make the station permanent was confirmed.
1972 Inshore Lifeboat station established in July with D- Class D -145 Lifeboat.
1974 Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum accorded to crew member Malcolm Keen in recognition of his meritorious action when he entered the sea from the Lifeboat to connect a towline to the converted MFV ” Gentlemaid ” with 3 persons onboard in rough breaking seas under Eastchurch Cliffs and also assisted to connect a towline to the Yacht ” Bosun ” also with a crew of 3 in a strong North easterly wind and rough sea in August 1973.
1974 The Waveney class Lifeboat “Helen Turnbull” was placed on service on the 4 th April and was moored in a new berth near the Gun Wharf .
1976 The Bronze medal awarded to Coxswain/Mechanic Charles Bowry for saving the yacht ” Eladnit ” and rescuing her crew of 5 after the yacht grounded on the West Barrow bank in a strong South Westerly wind gusting to gale force.
1977 Replacement D-Class D-253 place on station, D-144 withdrawn to relief fleet.
1979 Bronze second-service clasp awarded to Coxswain/Mechanic Charles Bowry , when the Lifeboat rescued the crew of 2 of the cabin cruiser ” MaJolie II” after it had struck an obstruction in the River Medway in a North Easterly gale and heavy snow and rough seas.
1980 Silver medal awarded to Coxswain/Mechanic Charles Bowry when the Lifeboat rescued the crew of 4 from the Radio Ship “Mi Amigo”which was sinking in the Black Deep near the Long Sand bank, the Lifeboat had to manoeuvre alongside on 13 occasions to carry out the rescue in a North Easterly gale and a very rough sea. The remaining crew were awarded the The Thanks of the Institution on Vellum.
1981 Robin Castle appointed Coxswain/Mechanic in November 1981.
1985 Old berth considered to be no longer tenable and the Lifeboat was moved to a new berth in the Lower Camber adjacent to the Gun Wharf.
1987 Thanks of the Institution awarded to Helmsman Richard Rogers and crewman Brian Spoor when the D-Class Lifeboat rescued the two occupants from a capsized speedboat off of Grain Spit in a strong South Easterly wind and rough sea, Letter of Thanks sent to Coxswain/Mechanic Robin Castle for the part the Waveney class Lifeboat played.
1987 Bronze medal awarded to Coxswain/Mechanic Robin Castle when the Lifeboat under his command rescued the 2 occupants of a 16ft day boat in a South Westerly wind in excess of 90 knots and a rough confused sea off the Yantlet Flats.

Second Coxswain Dennis Bailey and crewman Richard Rogers awarded the Thanks of the Institution on Vellum for the part they played in the service.

1988 Replacement D-Class “Kensington Rescuer” D-362 placed on station, D-253 withdrawn to relief fleet.
1990 Letter of Thanks awarded to Coxswain/Mechanic Robin Castle when the Lifeboat assisted the Motor Barge “Margaret G” in a South Westerly gale and rough seas.
1993 Letter of Thanks sent to station for the service by the All Weather Lifeboat for the service to the Fishing Vessel “Shepherd Lad” sinking off Southend.
1993 Letter of Thanks sent to station for the service by the Inshore Lifeboat and All Weather Lifeboat to a Royal Engineer’s Assualt craft with 4 persons onboard who had been badly injured.
1996 The Waveney class Lifeboat was withdrawn from service and replaced by the new Trent class Lifeboat “George and Ivy Swanson” ON 1211, the Lifeboat was later named by HRH The Duke of Kent.

New D-Class inshore Lifeboat “Seahorse 1 ” D-513, placed on station, D-362 withdrawn to the relief fleet.

1998 Letter of Thanks sent to station for a service by the Inshore Lifeboat for a service carried out in very poor visibility.
1999 Letters of thanks to Coxswain/Mechanic and crew members for the part they played in assisting the Sand Barge “Cecil Gilders” in a South Westerly gale and rough seas.
2000 Improved crew and shore facilities completed in May and opened by Mrs Betty Black Vice President of Sheerness Guild.
2002 Letters of Thanks from the Medical and Survival Committee sent to individual crew members for the service to an injured crew member onboard the M.T ” Rix Condor”.





New D-Class IB1 Inshore lifeboat “Eleanor” D-662, placed on station. D-513 withdrawn to relief fleet.

Coxswain/Mechanic Robin Castle awarded MBE by HRH Queen Elizabeth

New D-Class inshore Lifeboat ”Buster” D-799, placed on station. D-662 withdrawn to relief fleet

New Shannon Class Lifeboat ‘ Judith Copping Joyce ‘, boat number 13-38 enters service at Sheerness with revolutionary jet drive propulsion and state of the art technology, replacing Trent Class Lifeboat number 14-13. The Trent is retired into the RNLI training fleet, based at Poole in Dorset.

Coxswain Mechanic Robin Castle MBE retires from his role having served 40 years in the role.

Previous long term volunteer [ since 1992 ] and Second Coxswain/Mechanic, Paul Jarvis is named as the new full time Coxswain Mechanic, replacing Robin Castle MBE.