Ramsgate Lifeboat
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This is the official web site for the RNLI Ramsgate Lifeboat Station.

The RNLI exists to save lives at sea and is wholly supported by voluntary contributions.

We hope that you will enjoy your visit.

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Latest News

16th March 2020
Lifejacket Clinic At Royal Temple Yacht Club, Ramsgate Proves A Resounding Success!
On Sunday (15th March 2020) team members ran a lifejacket clinic at the Royal Temple Yacht Club, Ramsgate at the kind invitation of the Club Commodore.

Many of you will own a lifejacket or bouyancy aid (also known as a personal floatation device) or certainly have worn one in the past if you take part in any form of water based activity such as sailoring, off-shore angling, sea fishing, motor boating, paddle boarding, canoeing or kayaking. Your lifejacket may help save your life one day, but only if you maintain it properly and wear it for your chosen activity.

You may have heard the term ‘useless unless worn’ in articles about safety whilst on the water, which is so true when considering what a such important part a lifejacket plays in your everyday safety drills. So, the clinic is all about helping to keep people safe by checking their lifejackets and giving out other advice to keep them safe whilst on the water.

Throughout the lifejacket clinic the team checked nineteen lifejackets intotal and sixty eight per cent failed for a variety of reasons. Which included : corroded cylinders and out-of-date firing mechanism’s.

RNLI recommendation

The RNLI recommend’s that the owner/skipper undertakes a thorough inspection of each and every lifejacket at least once a year – more often if the lifejacket is used frequently and to have the lifejacket serviced at the manufacturer’s recommended intervals. We must point out that an inspection by an RNLI Community Safety Adviser is not the equavalent of a lifejacket service.

Here are our recommended basic checks which should be undertaken prior to every trip before donning the lifejacket:

Inspect the outside of the lifejacket for wear and tear

Even it is a lifejacket with an inspection window, undo the jacket at the point next to the inflator

Check the gas cylinder is handtight, or if it’s a bayonet type firmly locked in position

If the lifejacket is new to you, remove the cylinder and check it has not been fired

Replace with a new cylinder if required

Look for the green  indicators on the trigger and if fitted, on the automatic firing system

Keep spare cylinders and the replaceable parts for the automatic firing system on hand, so that if required the jacket can be re-armed. Alternatively, keep spare armed jackets aboard the vessel.


Lifejacket inspections can be undertaken during an advice on board session, at a lifejacket clinic (as at the Royal Temple Yacht Club) or ad-hoc when speaking with members of the public during our ‘walking the pontoons’ at Ramsgate Harbour. Just drop our team a private message on our Facebook page and we can organise a lifejacket check or Advice on Board session for you completely free of charge.

We would like to thank all the people who visited the lifejacket clinic and brought along their jackets to be checked. A big shout out also to Karen Cox (Ramsgate Lifeboat Press Officer) and the Royal Temple Yacht Club staff for making us very welcome and for facilitating our clinic.

Other useful references

When was the last time you checked your lifejacket?

Anglers and lifejackets

Why wearing a lifejacket or bouyancy aid is so important!


Royal Temple Yacht Club
15th March 2020

Our new Fundraising and Partnerships Lead, Claire Cardwell made her first visit to RNLI Ramsgate Lifeboat Station on Friday 13th March. She held a meeting with our Chairman of Fundraising, Sarah Hewes and chatted to our Coxswain, Ian Cannon and the Crew who were at the Station before briefly visiting the RNLI Ramsgate Shop.

Whilst at the Station she was kindly given a tour of our all-weather lifeboat “Esme Anderson” by Phil Mace our Mechanic and was shown our inshore lifeboat “Claire & David Delves”.

We hope you enjoyed your first visit Claire & we look forward to working with you in the future.
Photo by Sarah Hewes
8th March 2020
Ramsgate RNLI crew member gives talk to celebrate International Women Day
Ramsgate RNLI's local yacht club, the Royal Temple Yacht Club invited Emma Sutton to talk about her life.

International Women's Day started back in 1977 when the United Nations invited member states to proclaim March 8 as the Day for women's rights and world peace, and has since been the custom for inspirational women to give talks at various events across the world.

The Royal Temple Yacht Club, based in Ramsgate since 1896, approached one of the local RNLI's female crew to share her personal experience of being a crew member as well as being a full time teacher and mother.

Emma Sutton has only been a full time crew member for just over a year, spending the previous year as shore crew gaining valuable experience as she had no knowledge of the sea before she joined up. Below, in her own words, are extracts from her talk.

'I am a mother, RNLI crew member, part – time PhD student and full – time secondary school teacher. I was very honored to be asked to talk about my story, yet equally confused as to what would be of interest about my seemingly unremarkable everyday life. We all wear a multitude of hats, as women, as humans. When people get to know me better wearing and changing between these various hats and roles, I am often met with ‘wow – you’re busy!’ or asked how I successfully keep all these balls in the air. The reassuring truth is, I don’t always!

There have been days when I get up and there are tears and tantrums about brushing knots out of my daughter’s hair, trying to desperately locate a school reading book, or I find that there is no cereal in the cupboard for breakfast.

There are times when I have arrived at work and the students are challenging in their behaviour, the photocopier is jammed, there are 60 kids’ reports due by 4pm, a parent wants to talk on the phone at length and by the final lesson of the day I realise the coffee that I made at break is still half – drunk, now sat on my desk, cold.

There are times when the pager has gone off and I have made it on time to attend a shout, and times when I have missed the boat, and one time when I rushed down to the lifeboat station and mindlessly left the bath running and the back door open!

It is rarely plain sailing.

There is an idiom that has been in use since the 1940’s; ‘behind every great man is a great woman’ which implies the woman is behind the man, or that the woman, be it mother or wife, have a hand in a mans success. Although at one point in history used as a feminist slogan, this limiting narrative has long-since been perpetuated through societal norms and values, subconsciously there is perhaps still an element of surprise when a woman appears to be juggling a workload, volunteering and parenting and therefore women who appear to be ‘doing it all’ are seen as superhuman, when actually we are just doing what we have always done, however what men have done unquestionably for years….and some! Of course we all rely upon each other as a support network and our accomplishments are only ever as great as those who surround and support us, regardless of gender.

At work, the majority of my teaching timetable is dominated by art and design and design technology teaching and as a creative person I have learnt to live by a few basic principles, to always be authentically true to myself and to stubbornly never compromise on this, that there is always a positive in a negative (what we call in art a ‘happy mistake’), and just like many pieces of artwork or projects we are continuously a work in progress. I often find myself saying to both my students and my own daughter that ‘tomorrow is another day’ and I guess I say this as an internal mantra to myself too.

Brought up in Hastings, a fishing town with a shingle beach and in an old Victorian flat which overlooked the seafront, I have always felt most at home and connected when living by the coast. One of the many things that I had always wanted to do, but never actually acted upon was volunteering for the RNLI. Being brought up by the sea I had always been made aware and had respect for what the organization did and despite not having a maritime background had always had an unwavering and inexplicable desire to join as crew. I went down to Ramsgate Lifeboat station on a cold and rainy day and even though I knew I probably looked on the surface like a highly unlikely candidate, expressed my interest….a couple of years later and I am now a part of the crew.

Following my gut and chasing the things that I may otherwise have talked myself out of, or convinced myself can wait, until perhaps a more sensible time, or as something to pursue in the future, has become a new way of approaching life for me. Throwing myself at life and opportunities, even when they seem to go against common sense, or on the days when I feel tired and would quite like to stay in bed instead, showing up, embracing uncertainty and challenging adversity has added a new quality to my life, something that resembles buoyancy.

Having enjoyed the privilege of being a part of the crew for such a short period of time I do not have very many tales to regale, however there are a couple of shouts that have resonated with me.

Apart from the obvious rewarding sense of giving something back to the community, the most enjoyable thing about volunteering for me has been getting to know the crew. I have never felt more welcomed as a part of a team as I have done with the Ramsgate lifeboat crew, of all the round holes this square peg has tried to fit in, surprisingly, this has so far turned out to be the most comfortable.

I questioned what may be of interest about my seemingly unremarkable everyday life and perhaps it is the everyday itself, the multiple roles played, the various hats worn by women that is both interesting and remarkable, the cumulative effect of juggling many small acts; as mothers, in our jobs, through relationships. In 1977 the Nobel Prize winner Rosalyn Yalow, a medical physicist said that ‘we must believe in ourselves or no one else will believe in us, we must match our aspirations with the competence, courage and determination to succeed.’ A US Suffragette called Elizabeth Stanton also claimed that ‘the best protection any woman can have…is courage.’ I like to think that women sharing their stories and everyday lives with openness provides a foundation for that courage, perhaps acknowledging the remarkable and interesting in our every day lives in the various roles we assume, supporting each other as we muddle through.'

These days the RNLI crew is made up of both men and women selflessly volunteering and playing active roles throughout the charity. Funding is entirely raised from public donations in order for the charity to continue to save lives at sea. Without people like Emma, we would be unable to fulfil our role and hopefully reading some of her story will mean that the next generation will be inspired to join our teams.
Photos by Karen Cox
28th February 2020

A busy friday afternoon for the crew, education team and the fund raising volunteers when the Mayor of Ramsgate called into the station to present a cheque for £500.

The Mayor Raushan Ara, along with her Fund Raising Chairman Peter Borrough, visited Ramsgate RNLI on Friday 28 February to present a cheque for £500 to the station.

The visit coincided with a school visit,arranged by the station's Education Visits Team John and Vanessa Ray, of year 4 students and teachers from local Dame Janet Primary Academy who have chosen Ramsgate RNLI as their charity of the year. Year 3 pupils had visited earlier in the year and messages of thanks from them were shown to the Mayor. All of the classes at the school will eventually visit the station to learn first hand the invaluable work that the crew do in saving lives at sea. Educating the young is the best way of preventing accidents around our shores.

Mayor Raushan Ara said ' As your Mayor of Ramsgate, it is with great honour and pleasure, that I have chosen Ramsgate RNLI as one of my chosen charities.
This organisation, staffed by volunteers, braves all kinds of weather conditions to save lives at sea. It also helps to educate the younger generation about water safety.
Ramsgate is a seaside town, and it is vital that the people within our community are aware of the potential danger inherent in the sea. I feel that, as Mayor, I am able to give something back to my home town by raising these funds. I would like to thank all my charity members and volunteer for their help in this endeavour.'

Coxswain Ian Cannon was delighted to accept the cheque on the station's behalf in front of quite a crowd of people, including pupils and teachers from Dame Janet Primary Academy, Ron Fennell vice Chairman of the station, Sarah Hewes Fundraising Chairman, John Ray from the Education Visits Team and many of the volunteer crew.
Ian said ' Without donations from the public we would be unable to purchase essential equipment to continue our role of saving lives at sea, so we thank all of you for your ongoing support'.
Photos by Sarah Hewes
16th February 2020
Cheque presentation to the RNLI
RNLI Community Presenter and Ramsgate lifeboat archivist John Ray visited King Edward Court, Herne Bay on 14th. February where he was presented with a cheque for £1,200. The money had been raised during the past year by the King Edward Court Residents Association.

The residents had chosen the RNLI as ‘their’ 2019 charity and John had visited them at the request of Residents Association Chair Ian Devereux to talk about the charity’s work. Throughout the ensuing months the King Edward Court’s residents and staff had worked hard organising a number of fundraising events. This culminated in John being presented with a very generous cheque by King Edward Court supporter Thanet North MP Sir Roger Gale. John, on behalf of the RNLI, expressed his gratitude to all concerned.
Left to right Sir Roger Gale, Ian Devereux, John Ray
Photo by John Ray
15th February 2020
Multi-agency search for man overboard off Margate
Margate and Ramsgate RNLI lifeboats, a coastguard rescue helicopter and shore-based coastguards have carried out a search after reports of a man missing from a ship in the Margate Roads anchorage, around 2km north of Margate.

The Maltese-flagged LPG tanker contacted UK Coastguard around 6am this morning (Saturday 15 February) reporting one of its crew as being unaccounted for. He was last seen several hours previously and following a search of the ship it was assumed he was missing overboard.

A Mayday Relay message was broadcast, and a search initiated involving Margate and Ramsgate RNLI all-weather lifeboats, a coastguard rescue helicopter from Lydd Airport, a Royal Navy warship and Margate Coastguard Rescue Team.

A large area up to around eight miles offshore was searched by the sea and air units and around seven hours after the initial call a body was recovered from the sea by the Margate all-weather lifeboat. The lifeboat returned to station and the body handed into the care of local police officers.
Margate RNLI searching by Mark Stamford.
News Archive

Recent Launches

Service Call 3
14th March @ 19:33 AWB launched at the request of UK Coastguard to a 9m yacht with fouled propeller, East of the Thanet Offshore Windfarm. Whilst on route we received an updated position for the casualty, which had now drifted even further away.

Once on scene the AWB passed a line and started the tow back to Ramsgate. With the deteriorating sea conditions it was only possible to tow the casualty at 4.5 - 5 knots in order to minimise the possibility of damage to the vessel or injury to the 3 persons onboard.

On arrival at Ramsgate Harbour the casualty was berthed on a pontoon, assisted by a Coastguard mobile unit who assist with mooring the casualty shoreside. AWB ready for service 01:15 Sunday morning
Service Call 2
11th March @ 14:46 ILB launched at the request of Port Control to the assistance of a local fishing boat with engine failure just off Ramsgate channel which, due to the tidal flow and direction, was in immediate danger of being grounded ashore.
On scene the ILB attached a line and towed the casualty into Ramsgate Harbour, onto its berth.
Service Call 1
15th February @ 06:28 AWB launched at the request of UK Coastguard to assist with a search for a report of a missing person from a commercial vessel. Margate AWB and Coastguard helicopter are also in attendance.

At around 12:00 Margate AWB found a body matching the description of the missing crewman. All assets then returned to their home stations.
Photo by Sarah Hewes
Service Call 64
16th December @ 07:28 AWB launched at the request of UK Coastguard to a report of red flares being sighted by commercial shipping, 42 miles NE of Ramsgate.

On scene the AWB found a liferaft which had been occupied by 2 persons from a sunken vessel. They had been in the liferaft overnight and taken aboard a cargo ship whilst the AWB made its way to the scene. They were then air lifted by Rescue 163 (Coastguard Helicopter) and taken to Dover Coastguard Station.

Once UK Coastguard were happy that no further persons were missing, released the AWB to returned to Ramsgate with the liferaft.
Service Call 63
7th December @ 04:09 ILB launched at the request of UK Coastguard to assist other emergency services (two fire engines a rescue team and police) at Ramsgate’s East Pier this morning after a man caught his leg in the Jubilee steps and ended up hanging upside down.

Using a rescue sling the attending emergency services managed to release the man from the steps and lower him safely into the ILB.

Once aboard the ILB he was then brought ashore and handed over to the awaiting ambulance.
Service Call 62
6th December @ 12:29 AWB launched at the request of UK Coastguard to a 32.2m bean trawler with engine failure, 20 miles NE of Ramsgate, with 7 person on board. AWB was tasked to stand by the beam trawler ensuring its safety until a tug arrived on scene from Ramsgate. Once the tug arrived and were happy that the tow was attached, the AWB was released and returned to station. Weather on scene force 6-7.
Service Archive

Fundraising Events

RNLI Ramsgate at the Broadstairs Water Gala
Wednesday, August 19, 2020 at 10 AM – 4 PM

Viking Bay, Broadstairs

The RNLI will be out in force at the Broadstairs Water Gala.
RNLI Ramsgate Lifeboats will be in attendance, operational duties permitting.
RNLI Broadstairs Kiosk will be selling souvenirs both at the Kiosk and on the Promenade.
RNLI Face2Face Team will be in attendance.
RNLI Ramsgate Education Team will be in attendance.

Please note we are not the organisers of the event so please contact the organisers if you have a table enquiry via their website.

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