Welcome to Southend Lifeboat’s website

Southend Lifeboat station is just one of 238 around the coasts of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. The RNLI operates a 24 hour a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year all-weather rescue service around the coast and some major rivers. Additionally the RNLI has lifeguards on major tourist beaches during the summer months and maintains a Flood Rescue service for inland areas.

The RNLI is a registered charity which exists to save lives at sea. It provides, on call, the 24-hour service necessary to cover search and rescue requirements to 50 miles out from the coast of the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland.

Our Statistics




£ raised since Jan 2017


Volunteers and still counting


Visitors in 2018

Visiting Southend Lifeboats

As an RNLI station that is open all year round and has a gift Shop, Southend can accommodate visits by groups whether they be schools, institutions, or other interest groups. However, the Lifeboat boathouses are not staffed on a full time basis and arrangements have to be made prior to you turning up. Brian Wood (southend-on-sea@RNLI.org.uk) is the station’s ‘Lifeboat Visits Officer’ (LVO).

All ages catered for… Our LVO should also be contacted if you wish to arrange for a presentation talk at your own venue. Such presentations usually last for about 45 minutes but can be tailored to the needs of any particular audience.

Large groups of up to 30 people, no problem… If your time is limited and going to the end of the Pier makes a time constraint, our Inshore facilities are just as interesting, featuring the Inshore ILB (our busiest Lifeboat) and our Hovercraft (one of only 5 in the country).

Please be aware that we require at least 7 day’s notice of your visit and this must be confirmed in writing beforehand. Once you have contacted us, there will be forms to complete and sign prior to your visit being confirmed.

The rest is up to you! Don’t forget your camera and bring some good questions as well. You might like to know that our RNLI shop, which forms part of the Offshore boathouse, is always very popular with visiting groups, especially children who love to buy a memento of their day at Southend Lifeboat

Our Lifeboats

  • Atlantic 85
    Atlantic 85

    Year introduced to the RNLI fleet: 2005
    Crew: 3-4
    Survivor Capacity: 20
    Maximum Speed: 35 knots
    Endurance: 3 hours
    Length: 8.84 metres
    Draught: 0.53 metres
    Weight: 1.8 tonnes
    Fuel Capacity: 210 litres
    Engines:  2 x Yamaha 4-stroke engines at 115hp each
    Construction: Hull: carbon fibre and foam core laminate.
    Structure: includes epoxy glass and foam sandwich layup.
    Inflatable collar: hypalon-coated nylon.
    Communications and navigation

    • fitted and hand-held VHF (very high frequency) radio
    • intercom 
    • onboard global positioning system (GPS)
    • radar
    • VHF direction-finding (VDF) equipment 
    • electronic chart.
  • D Class
    D Class

    Year Introduced into RNLI Fleet: 1963
    Crew: 2-3
    Survivor Capacity: 5
    Maximum Speed: 25 knots
    Endurance: 3hours (at maximum speed)
    Length: 5 metres
    Width: 2 metres
    Weight: 400kg
    Fuel Capacity: 68 litres
    Engine: 1 x Mariner engine at 50hp
    Construction: Hypalon-coated polyester
    Communications and navigation
    fitted and hand-held VHF (very high frequency) radio
    magnetic compass
    onboard global positioning system (GPS) plotter.

  • Hovercraft

    Year Introduced to RNLI Fleet: 2002
    Crew: 2- 4
    Survivor Capacity: 6
    Top Speed: 30 knots
    Endurance: 3 hours (at maximum speed)
    Length: 8.04 metres
    Width: 3.36 metres
    Weight: 3.86 tonnes
    Fuel Capacity: 127 litres
    Engines: 2 x VW 1.9 turbo diesel engines
    Construction: Marine-grade aluminium with moulded fibre-reinforce composite (FRC)


View the RNLI Fleet here


In an emergency always dial 999
and ask for the Coastguard