Ramsgate Lifeboat
In an emergency, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard
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.
RNLI’s water safety warning during lockdown

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is urging anyone who is able to visit the coast during lockdown under government guidelines, to stay safe and not to take any unnecessary risks that may put extra pressure on emergency services.


As the UK and Ireland enter new nationwide lockdowns, RNLI lifeboats will continue to launch as they have done throughout the pandemic. However every time a lifeboat crew is called to an incident, it puts additional pressure on RNLI volunteers and other frontline emergency services. It also potentially exposes them to Covid-19.

While people are allowed and encouraged to exercise, the RNLI recommends that everyone takes extra care if this exercise is on or in the sea.


Gareth Morrison, RNLI Head of Water Safety, said: During lockdown, RNLI lifeboats and stations remain operational and will launch around the clock where there is risk to life.


We would encourage everyone to follow the latest government guidelines on what they are able to do and where they are able to go during lockdown, but for anyone visiting a coastal area please understand the risks so you can stay as safe as possible and not put unnecessary strain on frontline services. No one ever heads to the coast with the expectation of needing to be rescued, yet rescues are occurring every day.


In a normal year around 150 people lose their lives at the coast and we know that more than half of those never intended to be in the water. So, whether you are walking, running, or cycling at the coast, or enjoying some activity on or in the water, please be extra responsible and avoid taking unnecessary risks.


The RNLI and HM Coastguard last month launched a winter coastal safety campaign to highlight the dangers of stormy seas, changing tides and cliffs at this time of year.


Gareth Morrison added: Our beaches and coastal areas may see an increase in visitors in the days and weeks to come, and we know that open water swimming has seen a huge surge in popularity this year along the south coast, so were urging everyone to follow our advice and stay safe.


In particular, at this time of year we ask people to stay well back from stormy, wintry seas and cliff edges, check tide times before you go, take a phone with you, and call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard if you or someone else is in trouble.


The RNLIs key water safety advice is:


  • Take care if walking near cliffs  be aware of ice and frost, know your route and keep dogs on a lead

  • Check tide times for that day

  • Take a fully-charged phone

  • If going afloat, always wear a lifejacket or other personal flotation device and take a means of calling for help

  • Check all your equipment is in good working order

  • Be aware of the conditions and your capabilities and only enter the water if it is safe to do so

  • In an emergency call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard

  • Additional safety advice at www.rnli.org/safety

Ramsgate Tides

Broadstairs Tides

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Latest News

6th May 2021
Mayday walk
Every May the RNLI launches its Mayday campaign to raise money to support our volunteer crew. This has been a difficult year for the Fundraising teams when the impact of Covid has seen most events having to be cancelled.

The Mayday Mile appeal asks people to walk a mile to raise money and runs from 1st to 31st May. Anyone can join in and it means that you can enjoy a walk, socially distanced whilst supporting the RNLI.

A mayday call is the most urgent plea RNLI lifesavers receive, and is used when life is in immediate danger. Usually our lifesavers answer calls for help. But today, with summer on the way, it's they who need YOUR help.

We’re expecting more families than ever to book holidays in the UK and Ireland this year. People are excited to get away – and that’s how it should be. But it’s so easy to get into trouble by the water. For walkers to get cut off by the tide, a common occurrence around the Joss Bay to Stone Bay coastline. Or for a paddling child to be swept out to sea.

Two people who have answered the Mayday call are Sarah Hewes, Thanet RNLI Fundraising Chairman and Karen Cox Ramsgate Lifeboat Press Officer.

They walked from Margate RNLI station on Wednesday 5th May to Ramsgate RNLI station.

On route they passed the site of Kingsgate Lifeboat station which was built in 1883 and was in service from 1862-1897 and then onto Broadstairs Lifeboat station on the harbour, which was in service from 1851-1912 with the RNLI taking over in 1868.

Members of the team met them along the way to cheer them on and even provide a lovely lunch and also bought them an ice cream!
On arrival at Ramsgate RNLI they were greeted by the crew.

If you would like to support Sarah and Karen then please use this link to donate, or call into Ramsgate RNLI shop to donate. https://themaydaymile.rnli.org/fundraising/mayday-4-station-walk and every penny helps.

So far they have raised £675 with more donations pledged.

§ £25 could provide a pair of sea-going gloves to protect the RNLI’s lifesavers from wind-chill and rope burn.
§ £55 could buy a pair of sturdy, protective, non-slip boots to keep volunteers sure-footed at sea.
§ £100 could help the RNLI to bring water safety lessons to school children for the summer season ahead.
It was a lovely sunny morning and the rain clouds kept their distance. They were waved off by members of the Thanet RNLI Fundraising Team and also the Ramsgate Chairman and his team.
Karen on the left, Sarah on the right - photo by John Ray
Sarah and Karen at Ramsgate RNLI holding the Mayday banner
Kingsgate Lifeboat station
28th April 2021
Spring tides this weekend
Given the fine and sunny weather forecast for the upcoming Bank Holiday the RNLI thought it timely to offer some safety advice for those of you thinking of visiting the coast over the weekend.

Guy Addington, RNLI Water Safety lead for the South East region says:

‘RNLI lifeboats around the coast are ready to respond to emergency situations, but we are urging people to think very carefully about beach safety before setting off on a coastal walk, especially during the big spring tides. At Ramsgate, we often get call outs for people walking around our coast, in particular the Stone Bay to Joss Bay stretch..’

‘The tide comes in and out twice in each 24-hour period, and while tide times can be accurately predicted, they vary at each location and change each day. A beach or coastal area may appear a safe place for a walk, but incoming tide can quickly leave you stranded. On bigger tides like we will see in the coming days, places will be cut off by the tide quicker than normal and places usually unaffected by the tide may also be cut off. That’s why checking the weather and tides using a trusted online source, like the Ramsgate RNLI Facebook page for Ramsgate and Broadstairs, or any other tidal prediction app before setting off is advised.’

The RNLI isn’t trying to stop anyone having fun. They are just urging anyone choosing to visit the coast to make sure they keep themselves and their families safe by following beach safety advice along with the government’s advice on travel and social distancing:

• Visit a lifeguarded beach where possible and swim between the red and yellow flags - find your nearest at rnli.org.uk/lifeguarded beaches
• Wherever you are, check the weather forecast, tide times and read local hazard signage to understand local risks
• Take a means of communication with you
• If you fall into the water unexpectedly, FLOAT TO LIVE. Fight your instinct to thrash around, lean back, extend your arms and legs, and float
• In an emergency dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

We are also advising anyone using their local coastline for exercise to keep well away from cliff edges and bases. Chalk cliffs are subject to erosion, can be unstable and can collapse without warning. These can be very dangerous for anyone standing near the edge or underneath them. Please admire the coastal views from a safe distance, and once again, if you get into difficulty or see someone else in difficulty, always dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.
Photo by Ian Lockyer
27th April 2021
On a calm Saturday evening the inshore lifeboat ‘Claire and David Delves’ was launched to a 27ft motor vessel with engine failure in the entrance to the river Stour.  Onboard were two adults and two children who had been out for a cruise in the fine weather.

On arrival at the scene and after a quick assessment, one volunteer crew member was put onto the yacht to secure a line and once secured  they towed the boat back to Ramsgate Harbour.

Then Sunday afternoon the inshore was again launched to a 20ft sloop with engine problems outside the harbour. The tide was very strong across the harbour mouth making it difficult to cross into the harbour so they towed the sloop in and assisted it in mooring up.

Before they could return to station port control advised them that a second yacht had received permission to sail into the harbour as their engine had failed with the intention of then rowing to their berth. So the lifeboat went to their aid too and assisted them in mooring. 

So a busy 24 hours for the volunteer crew of Ramsgate RNLI station.

Coxswain Ian Cannon said, “With the warmer months approaching more people are taking to their boats for recreation. We would urge that they complete full safety checks on their equipment before taking to the sea, and always carry a means of communication with them.”
Photo by Mark Stanford
15th April 2021
Thanet RNLI Community Safety Team get water safety message across
Lifeboats Statement
Today, on a sunny but cold beach, Ian Lockyer a volunteer RNLI Community Safety Officer for Thanet came across a unique way of getting a safety message cross, sand art!

Every year we have people cut off by the tide around our coastline, and although we have teams out giving advise and publish the tides on our websites, still some people get caught out.

Ian came up with the idea of using the beach itself, and for his first attempt, I’m sure you’ll agree that he will do very well. His message is ‘Think time and tide’.

His message was posted in Ramsgate, just along from the Main Sands, below the Ramsgate side entrance to George V Park. Sadly, the tide has now swept it away.
Photo by Karen Cox
14th April 2021
Ramsgate RNLI launch to a disabled motorcruiser
On a calm sunny evening Tuesday 13 April at 18.30 the Inshore Lifeboat “Claire and David Delves” was launched at the request of UK Coastguard to a ten meter cabin cruiser with engine failure after a Pan-pan call was made by phone.

A Pan-pan is the international urgency call indicating that someone aboard a boat is declaring an urgent situation that is not an immediate threat to either the vessel or the people on board. Pan-pan is actually from the French word panne meaning breakdown.

The initial position was given as four and a half miles South of Ramsgate. The Inshore Lifeboat made their way to the position given by the Coastguard, but found nothing in the area. They then made their way further South, where they could see a vessel roughly one and a half miles away and found it to be the casualty with three people onboard, which they took under tow and guided them into Ramsgate Royal Harbour. The original position given by the Coastguard had been estimated by tracing the casualties mobile phone signal, as this was the means that they used to contact the Coastguard.

After securing the cabin cruiser to the pontoon the volunteer crew returned the lifeboat to the station.

With restrictions slowly being lifted and the Summer approaching we are expecting an increase in calls. The RNLI rely purely on donations from the public so after a year where we have been unable to fund raise in our normal way, we appreciate support from the public more than ever.
Photo by Phil Mace
27th January 2020

Today we celebrate a milestone for two of our crew.

Ian Cannon took over as station Coxswain from his father Ron when he retired from Coxswain in 2001, twenty years today, following a strong family tradition. During Ron’s long career he was awarded the RNLI’s Silver Medal for his ‘truly outstanding seamanship and tremendous courage’ for rescues, not once but twice and then in 2017 received an MBE.

Ian is a great role model for his crew with a firm hand on the wheel, living proof of the RNLI’s values leading his crew with great seamanship, and years of knowledge having taken part in many heroic rescues.

Phil Mace, is the station Mechanic, again celebrating 20 years in his role. His knowledge of the workings of lifeboats is second to none, which is why other stations Lifeboats have been brought into Ramsgate for maintenance work over the years.

In 2019 Phill was proud to be chosen to march past the Cenotaph in London with five fellow RNLI officers on Remembrance Day in recognition of their long service. The RNLI were invited to take part in the celebrations for the first time in 2016 so very few have been honoured by an invitation.

As you can tell we are very proud of our crew, they head a dedicated team and are always on call to Save Lives at Sea.

Well done Ian Cannon and Phil Mace  here’s to the next 20 years
News Archive

Recent Launches

Service Call 9
25th April @ 13:45 after completing incident 8 the ILB was diverted to another yacht with engine failure struggling to get into the harbour under sail. The casualty wanted to sail into the harbour, then row to their berth.  ILB attached a line in the turning circle and towed the casualty onto its berth.
Service Call 8
25th April @ 13:29 ILB launched to a 20ft yacht with engine failure just outside the harbour entrance.  ILB passed a line and towed the casualty into the harbour and put alongside a berth.
Photo by Mark Stanford
Service Call 7
24th April @ 19:58 ILB launched to a motor boat with engine failure in Pegwell Bay near the river entrance. On scene the ILB passed a line and towed the casualty into Ramsgate Harbour.
Service Call 6
13th April @ 18:30 ILB launched at the request of UK Coastguard to a 10m cabin cruiser with engine failure 4.5 miles south of Ramsgate.  The ILB made their way to the position given by the Coastguard, but found nothing in the area. They then made their way South, where they could see a vessel and found it to be the casualty, which they took under tow and brought them into Ramsgate Royal Harbour.

The original position given by the coastguard had been estimated by tracing the casualties mobile phone signal, as this was the means that they had contacted the Coastguard.
Photo by Phil Mace
Service Call 5
29th March @ 15:37 ILB launched to assist Margate D class Lifeboat with a 21ft Bayliner with engine failure and 3 persons on board.  Ramsgate ILB took over the tow and bought the casualty into Ramsgate Harbour.
Service Call 4
25th March @ 16:34 whilst ILB was out on exercise, they were diverted by UK Coastguard to a report of a potentially in the water. Margate D class, Rescue 163 (Helicopter) Police were all in attendance. The person was found safely ashore.
Service Archive

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