Dover Lifeboats past and present

Dates Lifeboat Notes
1997 - Present 'City of London II'

A 17m Severn class All weather lifeboat funded by City of London Branch Centenary appeal plus legacies from E. Horsfield, G. Moss and others.


1979 - 1997 'Rotary Service'

The first of only two Thames class lifeboats built. She was capable of nearly 20kts. The building of this lifeboat was funded by Rotary International of Great Britain as well as bequests from M. Redgate, M. Fowkes and D. Craig.


1967 - 1979 'Faithful Forester'

Built in by Brooke Marine Ltd of Lowestoft. A self righting 44' Waveney Class capable of 15kts she was funded by the Ancient Order of Foresters.


1949 - 1967 'Southern Africa'

A 51' Barnett class funded by Southern Africa Branch of the RNLI. During her time at Dover she carried out 263 services and saved 186 lives.


1947 - 1949 'J. B. Proudfoot'

A 45' Watson class lifeboat. Formerly the 'H F Bailey II' whilst based at Cromer until 1935. She was the first Dover lifeboat to be based in the 'Submarine Pens' in the Eastern Docks.

Station closed

1930 - 1941

'William Myatt'

A motorboat used to ferry the crew from shore to the lifeboat but actually used on several occasions to carry out rescues.


1940 - 1941

'Agnes Cross'

A Norfolk and Suffolk class lifeboat originally a relief boat for the Sir William Hillary remained on station until 1941 when the station was closed.


1930 - 1940 'Sir William Hillary'

At 64' long the longest lifeboat ever to be based at Dover. She was stationed at Dover due to the increasing number of aircraft crossing the channel and the requirement for a high speed craft.

Station closed
1919 - 1922 'James Stevens No.3'

56' long and the first lifeboat to be driven by a screw propellor. Whilst at Dover she was only launched on service 5 times.

Station closed
1901 - 1914 'Mary Hamer Hoyle'

Provided courtesy of a gift to the RNLI from Mr I. Hoyle. Self-righting, she was the same length as the 'Lewis Morice' and also propelled by 12 oarsmen.


1888 - 1901 'Lewis Morice'

37' long 12 oared lifeboat built at a cost of £556.


1878 - 1888 'Henry William Pickersgill RA'

Self righting and 35' long this lifeboat was named after H. Pickersgill whose bequest funded the building of this boat.


1864 - 1878 'Royal Wiltshire'

Funded by money collected in Wiltshire by a Capt. Reed this boat was 32' long, self righting and propelled by 10 oarsmen.


1858 - 1864

A Lifeboat

Another 28' oar propelled lifeboat this boat was only launched on service once.


1853 - 1858 A Lifeboat

A self righting 28' boat designed by Mr T. C. Clarkson. During this boat's service at Dover it passed from the Dover Humane Society to the RNLI.


1837 - 1853 A Lifeboat

Dover's first lifeboat provided by the Dover Humane Society. 37' long and rowed by 12 oarsmen.



This table only lists lifeboats that have been permanently based at Dover. They have been supported by many other lifeboats during periods where Dover's own lifeboats have been away for refit or repair. These relief boats have included the last built Arun class 52-46 'The Duke of Atholl' and recently the latest Severn class 17-46 'Margaret Joan and Fred Nye'.


Recent callouts:


Recovery of human remains on behalf of Kent Police and the Coroner.


Person cut off by the tide at Langdon Bay, further investigation using the Y Boat, False Alarm good intent


A person fallen from cliffs was assisted by the lifeboat crew as well as Kent Air Ambulance, a RAF Helicopter and HM Coastguard.


Angling boat believed in difficulties. False alarm good intent.


Person believed at risk in Folkestone area. Searched with Littlestone Lifeboat - Nothing found.

Dover - Weather

  • 6 Mar 2012

    Partly Cloudy 6°C 3°C

  • 7 Mar 2012

    Rain/Wind 9°C 3°C



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