Poole Lifeboat Station is one of 235 lifeboat stations around the coast of the UK, Republic of Ireland, Isle of Man and the Channel Islands, and is often one of the busiest. It is part of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and provides a search and rescue service to Poole Harbour and Poole Bay in Dorset.

In the event of an emergency on the coast,
dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

The information is, to the best of our knowledge, accurate. In the event that any errors are identified, please contact the lifeboat station at poole@rnli.org.uk

Since 19 January 1865, Poole Lifeboat Station has launched 5,010 times (23 July 2014)

Latest launches

ILB towing a vessel

Date: 23/7/14

Lifeboat: ILB
Casualty: 28ft vessel with fuel problems
Location: Off the main channel in Poole Harbour

Poole ILB launched at around 1315 today at the request of Portland Coastguard Rescue Coordination Centre to a 28ft motorboat with fuel and engine problems. The vessel had managed to put down an anchor by 'Diver West Cardinal' buoy in Poole Harbour as his engine kept cutting out. As the motor vessel was anchored at the edge of the main shipping channel he requested assistance to get back to Rockley Point.

The ILB Sgt Bob Martin (Civil Service No. 50) arrived on scene within a few minutes of the emergency call and transferred a volunteer lifeboat crewman aboard the vessel to attach a towline. The motorboat was then safely towed to Rockley Point and the ILB returned to station and was ready for service at 1500. See photos from the shout.

Both boats

Date: 21/7/14

Lifeboat: ILB and ALB
Casualty: Dinghy overdue
Location: Brownsea Island area of Poole Harbour

Both Poole lifeboats were launched in the early hours of Monday 21 July to search for a person in a dinghy who was reported to be overdue.

The person was due back at midnight but did not turn up so the alarm was raised at 2am. Portland Coastguard tasked both lifeboats to search for the late vessel and both boats launched at 0220.

The overdue person had left Brownsea Island at around 10pm and was expected back by midnight. The inshore lifeboat scoured the Whitley Lake area inside the harbour while the all-weather lifeboat started from Poole Quay down the main channel to Brownsea Pier as it was feared that the vessel may have broken down and could have been swept in with the tide.

An extensive search by the volunteers took place until the inshore lifeboat found the vessel safe and well, stuck on the mud, inside of Shore Road. It had been caught out by the low tide.

The volunteer crew helped to refloat the vessel and escorted him safely back to Brownsea.

Both boats returned back to station just before 0330.


Date: 16/7/14

Lifeboat: ALB
Casualty: 7m day boat with engine failure
Location: South of Dancing Ledge, Poole Bay

Poole all-weather lifeboat was tasked at 1930 on Wednesday 16 July while the crew were out on exercise to take over a tow from Swanage lifeboat volunteers.

Swanage all-weather lifeboat had launched earlier to assist a 7m day boat that had suffered engine failure 4 nautical miles south of Dancing Ledge.

The Poole crew took over the tow at Bar Buoy and brought the stricken vessel with four people onboard safely back into Poole Harbour and then back alongside at Poole Town Quay at 2120.

It was a significant evening for one of the trainee volunteers onboard Poole's all-weather lifeboat as Will Collins notched up his first shout. He was involved in setting up the tow rope. Well done Will (and everyone else).

Check out more photos and a video of the launch.

Photo: RNLI Poole/Dave Bursey

More launches

News stories


Poole lifeboat marks anniversary of first shot of First World War – 28 June 2014

Poole all-weather lifeboat joined a myriad of vessels on Saturday 28 June 2014 as the start of the First World War was commemorated.

Assistant Mechanic Neil Ceconi sounded the ALB's horn for 10 seconds and lowered its ensign to half-mast at 6pm to mark the hour of the first shot being fired at the start of the Great War in 1914.

A cacophony of remembrance signals could be heard around Poole Harbour.

Similar events were replicated across the world under an initiative organised by UNESCO, supported by the International Maritime Organization, to commemorative the start of the First World War.

28 June marked 100 years since the first act that sparked a chain of events leading to the Great War when Archduke Franz Ferdinand – heir to the imperial crown of Austria and Hungary – was assassinated by 19-year-old Gavrilo Princip in Sarajevo.

5,000 shouts

Poole Lifeboat Station volunteers carry out 5,000th shout – 15 June 2014

A busy weekend for Poole lifeboat crew volunteers saw Poole Lifeboat Station reach a milestone in its history as it carried out its 5,000th lifeboat shout. Poole is the first RNLI all-weather lifeboat station to achieve this landmark moment.

The surge of lifeboat shouts to reach this milestone started on Friday the 13th with the inshore and all-weather lifeboats being tasked four times each by Portland Coastguard to four separate incidents. This was followed on Sunday 15 June with an eventful day that started in the morning when the ILB crew were tasked to a medical evacuation to help a casualty and get him ashore to paramedics.

At the end of the same day, in darkness, a rising tide and logistical challenge required quick thinking on how to transfer equipment and assets to fight a fire on a difficult-to-get-to island.

With the inshore lifeboat and boarding boat launching, the volunteers notched up their 5000th shout in the history of Poole Lifeboat Station.

Since 1865 Poole lifeboat crews have been helping people and saving lives at sea. Volunteer Poole Lifeboat Press Officer Anne-Marie Clark said: 'Whatever the number of shouts, it's always business as usual. 5,000 is a huge number, but what's really humbling is when you think of the people, then their families, whom we have touched, reunited or helped in some small way.

'We think back to the courageous crews that have gone before us, who contributed to this historic achievement and shared our selfless commitment, and we reflect on the present volunteers, especially on days like today.'

Anne-Marie added: 'We also look forward and next year is another milestone, when Poole Lifeboat Station is 150 years old. Please keep supporting us, as we are a charity and rely on the support and donations to keep afloat.

'We would prefer not to notch up another few thousand shouts as we want people to stay safe but we will always be at the ready – ready to save lives in and around Poole.'

More news

Fundraising news


Poole crew take part in 24-hour swimathon –
18 July 2014

Several Poole lifeboat crew members have taken part in a sponsored swimathon in the Sea Survival Pool at RNLI College today to raise vital funds to train volunteer lifeboat crews.

The challenge saw crew members and lifeboat trainers from RNLI College each swimming 20 minute legs in a 24-hour relay swimathon, starting at 12 noon on Friday.

Poole crew members taking part included Dave Riley, Glenn Mallen, Oli Mallinson, Glen Mallen, James Kilburn and Alex Evans (all lifeboat trainers) as well as Rob Inett, Paul Taylor and Dave Bursey.

The pool isn't heated and has no shallow end (the depth all over is 4m), so there was no putting their feet down for a breather and a lifeguard was on duty throughout in case of any problems.

Well done to everyone who took part, and if you'd like to sponsor this marathon (swimathon?!) effort then please visit the team's JustGiving page and check out their poster. Thank you!

And for the latest news and photos, check out our Twitter stream!

Poole Bay Walk

Raise money for charity in Poole Bay Walk – Sunday 3 August 2014

Raise money for the charity of your choice by taking part in the sponsored Poole Bay Walk, organised by the Rotary Club of Poole Bay.

Participants can choose to fundraise for the charity of their choice, and we would be very grateful for anyone who chooses to walk for the RNLI.

The walk starts and finishes at The Fish Shambles on Poole Quay, and takes in some of Poole's most attractive scenery: the harbour side, Evening Hill and its beautiful viewpoint and the beaches, before returning via Branksome Chine and pine covered areas back to Whitecliff Park and Poole Quay.

You'll be walking from Poole Quay, home to the RNLI's Poole Lifeboat Station, and along the front from Sandbanks to Branksome, passing several RNLI lifeguard stations on your way.

You can check out more information on our Events page, or visit the Rotary Club of Poole Bay website for instructions on how to register.

More fundraising news

Forthcoming events

Kit room

Open (Boat)house – Every Wednesday

It's open house at Poole Lifeboat Station by Poole old lifting bridge every Wednesday during the Summer months for you to drop in and say hello.

We're open from 11am to around 4pm (weather permitting) and you will have the chance to step onboard the all-weather lifeboat to look at her equipment and see the inshore lifeboat in her floating boathouse.

You'll also get the chance to see the kit room, chat to volunteers and even buy a souvenir of your visit.

So if you're passing, drop on in and say hello. We'd love to see you.

Poole Bay Walk

Poole Bay Walk – Sunday 3 August 2014

Raise money for the charity of your choice by taking part in the sponsored Poole Bay Walk, organised by the Rotary Club of Poole Bay.

Please visit our Events page to find out more about how to register or getting sponsorship.

Open Day

Poole Lifeboat Station Open Day –
Sunday 10 August 2014, 11am–5pm

Yes! It's that time of year again when we throw open all our doors for our annual Lifeboat Station Open Day.

After last year's hugely successful day, we're planning for a bigger and better day this year.

So put the date in your diary and come on down between 11am and 5pm on Sunday 10 August 2014.

More details coming soon!

You can also check out our events, fundraising events, coastal safety events and local events for more details and other events in the area.

More events

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number CHY 2678 in the Republic of Ireland | RNLI (Trading) Ltd - 01073377, RNLI (Sales) Ltd - 2202240, RNLI (Enterprises) Ltd - 1784500 and RNLI College Ltd - 7705470 are all companies registered at West Quay Road, Poole BH15 1HZ. Images & copyright RNLI 2013.