Station history

On 1 April 1969 the lifeboat ON1017 Ernest William and Elizabeth Ellen Hinde was sent to Sheerness on evaluation trials and in 1970 the Committee of Management decided to establish Sheerness as a permanent lifeboat station provided a satisfactory berth be made available.  In March 1971 the earlier decision was confirmed.

1970

Station lifeboat ON847 Gertrude, a Watson class lifeboat was placed on service on 22 April.

 

1972

Inshore lifeboat station established in July with a D class lifeboat.  The ILB launches from a slipway adjacent to the ILB boathouse.

1974

Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum accorded to crew member Malcolm E Keen in recognition of his meritorious action when he entered the sea from the lifeboat to connect a towline to the converted motor fishing vessel Gentlemaid with three people on board, which was aground in short rough breaking seas under Eastchurch cliffs and later assisted to connect another towline to the yacht Bosun, also with a crew of three, which had lost a rudder and was without power in a strong north easterly wind and rough seas on 21 August 1973.

A Waveney class lifeboat ON1027 Helen Turnball, was placed on service on 4 April.

1976

Bronze Medal awarded to Coxswain/Mechanic Charles Henry Bowry for saving the yacht Eladnit and rescuing her crew of five after the yacht had grounded on the West Barrow Bank in a strong south-westerly wind gusting to gale force and a rough sea on 16 August 1975.  On learning that among the five people on board there were two children and two adults overcome with seasickness, the coxswain towed off the casualty and transferred the crew to the lifeboat.  The yacht was then towed to Sheerness.

1979

Bronze Second-Service Clasp of the Institution awarded to Coxswain/Mechanic Charles Henry Bowry in recognition of the courage, determination and seamanship he displayed when the lifeboat rescued the crew of two of the cabin cruiser Ma Jolie II which had struck an obstruction and lost her propeller on the Cinque Port Marshes in a strong north-easterly gale with heavy snow and poor visibility and a very rough sea on 30 December 1978.  Coxswain Bowry in spite of many yacht moorings and very little sea room, took the Waveney class lifeboat Helen Turnball into the shallow water three times and rescued the two man crew who were landed at Gillingham Pier. 

1980

Silver Medal of the Institution awarded to Coxswain/Mechanic Charles Henry Bowry in recognition of the courage, determination and seamanship displayed by him when the crew of four were rescued from the radio ship Mi Amigo which was sinking in Black Deep near the Long Sand Bank on the night of 19/20 March.  The lifeboat was manoeuvred alongside the Mi Amigo on 13 occasions to carry out the rescue in a strong easterly gale and a very rough sea.  The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum was accorded to the remainder of the lifeboat's crew.

 

1985

Old lifeboat berth considered to be no longer tenable and after negotiations with Medway Ports Authority alternative berthing arrangements provided at Gun Wharf Steps.

1987

The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum was accorded to Helmsman Richard Rogers and crew member Brian Spoor in recognition of the skill and determination displayed by them when the D class inflatable lifeboat rescued two people from the water approximately a quarter of a mile north by west of Lees Tower after their speedboat had capsized in a strong east-south-easterly wind and a rough sea on 25 August 1986.

Bronze Medal awarded to Coxswain/Mechanic Robin William Castle in recognition of his superb initiative, skill and courage when the Helen Turnbull lifeboat rescued the two occupants of a 16 foot boat on the Yantlet Flats in confused seas and a south-westerly wind in excess of 90 knots on 16 October.  The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum was accorded to Second Coxswain Dennis Bailey Junior and crew member Richard Rogers in recognition of the dedication displayed by them when they entered the water to lay an anchor when the lifeboat grounded during this service.

1992

A new lifeboat launching davit was installed alongside the quay and replaced the previous old derrick.

1996

The Waveney class lifeboat withdrawn and replaced by a Trent class lifeboat, ON1211 George and Ivy Swanson, on 16 March.

The D class lifeboat withdrawn and replaced by a new D class lifeboat D513 which was placed on service on 31 October.

2000

Improved crew and shore facilities completed in May.

2006

The new class of lifeboat IB1, D662 Eleanor was placed on service on Wednesday 27 September, D516 Seahorse I has been withdrawn to the Relief Fleet.

2010

For services to the Institution, Coxswain Robin Castle has been honoured by Her Majesty the Queen in the recent Birthday Honours; - Member, Order of the British Empire (MBE).

A pontoon berth was constructed in March at a total cost of £293,076.

MEDAL RECORD

Four medals have been awarded, three Bronze and one Silver, the last being voted in 1987.