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Friday, January 27, 2023

Tower’s historic RNLI lifeboat station is towed away for the last time after saving hundreds of lives, and launching 9,500 times

Lifeboat station being towed away

The City’s historic Tower lifeboat rescue station been moved for the last time, after 16-years of operation saving hundreds of lives.

Crew working on the station next to Tower Bridge will continue their vital work from HMS President, the Royal Naval Reserve’s training facility in the capital, before a new station is launched in April. 

The lifeboat team, under the banner of RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) have launched more than 9,500 times and saved 355 of lives along the Thames’ 16 miles since 2002.

However, the station was had become unfit for purpose, with parts of the pontoon dating back to Victorian times when it was used by the Met.

While it will no longer be operational, it will be used by the Thames Marine Services as one of its six electrical charging facilities. 

The station was towed away under the famous Tower Bridge on Tuesday, as onlookers said goodbye to the well-known piece of London furniture.  

Lifeboat station being towed away
Lifeboat station being towed away

Tower Lifeboat Station manager Kevin Maynard said: “We are looking forward to our new facilities to help us provide the service the people of London deserve to keep them as safe as possible.

“In the meantime, I’d like to reassure people that we are continuing to run our lifesaving service as normal along the Thames – and remember if they get into trouble to ring 999 and ask for the Coastguard.”

The station was created in wake of the 1989 tragedy on the pleasure boat Marchioness in 1989 in which 51 people died. 

Following an enquiry, the rescue service was created, and maintained with the help of donations, including £3.5m from the  Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve Officer’s Association.

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