Royal National Lifeboat Institution - Official Charity

24 hours a day, 7 days a week, the RNLI is ready to save lives. Powered by courage, determination and the support of generous donors.

RNLI lifeboat crews provide a 24-hour rescue service in the UK and Ireland and seasonal lifeguards patrol busy beaches. RNLI crews and lifeguards have saved over 144,000 lives since 1824. But they are more than just a rescue service - they influence, supervise, and educate people heading out on the water too. RNLI Crews and Community Safety teams explain the risks and share safety knowledge with anyone going out to sea or to the coast.

Cowes Lifeboat Station is one of the 238 RNLI lifesaving crews, and ready in the heart of the town to support and celebrate Cowes Week. Cowes Lifeboat Station was converted from a former HM Customs Watch House, the rear of which is 300 years old.

It looks out onto one of the world's busiest shipping waterways and carries out a range of interesting services every year. The Cowes B class Atlantic inshore lifeboat, Sheena Louise, is one of the fastest in the RNLI fleet; with a top speed of 35 knots powered by two 115hp 4-stroke engines.

During Cowes week, RNLI Crew are not only part of the Parade Regatta Village; hosting a number of training assessments and activities for visitors, but they also have a volunteer crew on rota for the full week to be ready to help anyone at the event in need both on the water and off. Conditions can be difficult, and often RNLI crew have one tasking after another - the most we have recorded 11 taskings in one day!

Volunteers, like those at Cowes, have been saving lives at sea for 200 years in 2024. Many things have changed since 1824, but the courage and commitment of their lifesavers has continued to the present day, working together towards their goal of saving everyone we can.

If you are heading out onto the water as part of Cowes week, why not check out the RNLI safety advice.

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Claire Johnson :  +44 (0) 7818 581893

Cowes RNLI on video