The view from the crew room. Photo credit: RNLI Poole/Paul Taylor

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 those who spend time on the waters of 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

Looking for something to do this week?
Why not visit Poole Lifeboat Station on Wednesday 16 April between 10am and 4pm.

The station is opening its doors to visitors so come and have a look around the lifeboats and the crew and kit rooms.

We look forward to seeing you.

Countdown to our 5,000th launch:
Since 19 January 1865, Poole Lifeboat Station has launched nearly 5,000 times.

Total to date (8 April 2014): 4,973
Number to go: 27 shouts and counting!

Check out our latest launches and photos!

Latest launches


Date: 8/4/14

Lifeboat: ILB and ALB
Casualty: Person in the water
Location: Boscombe Pier

Portland Coastguard paged the Deputy Launching Authority at 2314 after a report came in that there was a person in trouble in the water off Boscombe Pier.

Both lifeboats launched but were stood down shortly after as the situation had been resolved so they returned to station.


Date: 7/4/14

Lifeboat: ILB
Casualty: Semi-submerged cruiser
Location: Poole Harbour

Poole inshore lifeboat was launched this afternoon just before 5pm to a report of a small vessel taking on water just off the Sandbanks Hotel, near to the entrance of Poole Harbour.

The first informant had called Portland Coastguard as they couldn't see anyone onboard the small motor boat.

The inshore lifeboat swiftly launched and took just a few minutes to arrive near Sandbanks Hotel. They soon found the semi-submerged vessel and a crew member entered the water and walked ashore in the shallow water.

It soon became evident that the vessel had been submerged there for some time due to the condition of the vessel and it was also apparent that this was a false alarm call with good intent.

The Poole crew were immediately stood down and returned back to station.


Date: 29/3/14

Lifeboat: ILB
Casualty: Broken down personal watercraft
Location: Poole Harbour

Poole volunteer crew were tasked by Portland Coastguard and the inshore lifeboat launched at 1850 to a report of a broken down personal watercraft that was towing an inflatable at the top end of Poole Harbour.

A man had raised the alarm on his mobile as the craft he was aboard had broken down between Lake Road slipway and Rockley.

The lifeboat located it closer to Seagull Island, off the Rockley end of Holton Heath, drifting with one adult and three children.

The tow line that had been pulling the inflatable had got sucked into the jet and had tangled, disabling the personal watercraft. With a strengthening breeze and diminishing light, the alarm was raised as the stricken vessel was drifting away from shore.

The lifeboat crew checked that everyone was okay. The children had wetsuits on and had been in and out of the water, but as they had been drifting for over 20 minutes while wet and with the wind chill, they were very cold.

The volunteer crew established a tow and took the craft back ashore to Lake Road, leaving the adult with one child ashore. They then proceeded back to the lifeboat station with the other two children. When they arrived back at the lifeboat station, the crew gave them some chocolate, a warm drink and blankets to warm them up and they were none the worse for their adventure.

Poole inshore lifeboat refuelled and was ready for service by 2030.

More launches

News stories

X boat

Poole's own alternative boat race – 6 April 2014

On the morning of the famous Boat Race, tensions were high on the all-weather lifeboat as selection day for the all-important X boat team had arrived.

The crew were nervous and psyching each other out. Who would gain their position on the race team?

Steve, Graham, Chris and Dave all had to show their rowing skills in the Tyne's daughter boat while out training in Studland Bay on the morning of the real Boat Race.

After several laps of the lifeboat the jury was out on who would take their place on the rowing team.

We don't think Poole Rowing Club have any new members heading their way just yet!

More photos ...

Lifeboats go green

New RNLI environmental policy turns lifeboats green – 1 April 2014

Starting today, RNLI lifeboats will be painted green to improve cost-effective repair work.

Using biodegradable paint will mean the cost of maintaining the huge lifeboat fleet will be dramatically reduced. Recent research has also found that the new green livery is highly visible at sea.

Following her anti-fouling yesterday, Poole lifeboat was the first of the all-weather fleet to be transformed.


Mechanic up early for bottom scrub!
– 31 March 2014

An early morning bottom scrub saw Poole's Mechanic and crew take the Tyne class lifeboat City of Sheffield up to the RNLI's Lifeboat Maintenance Centre at Cobbs Quay on Monday 31 March for a routine hull scrub.

As Poole's all-weather lifeboat is an afloat-launched lifeboat, she sits in the water all year at her berth at Poole Lifeboat Station on Poole Quay. As a result of this, there is a build-up of algae on the hull, which can slow her down when out on a shout.

She was pressure-washed and then had a coat of anti-foul added before being lifted back into the water and taken back to her berth.

Photos: Paul Taylor

More news

Fundraising news

Rachel cheque

Rachel visits the lifeboat station – April 2014

In early April Poole volunteer crew and officials welcomed their star young fundraiser Rachel Matthews and her family to Poole Lifeboat Station for presentation of her amazing cheque.

On 31 March Rachel had announced: 'Hi all, Just wanted to let you know, that after 70 performances over 11 months, I have reached my fundraising target! I have made 2285.39; this is enough to train and kit out a lifeboat crew member with 50 to spare!

To celebrate this fantastic achievement Rod Brown (LOM), Joe Mannings (trainee crew member) and other volunteers welcomed Rachel, her brother and parents to the lifeboat station in early April.

The family were given a tour of the lifeboat station and taken out to see the ILB moored alongside. This was a chance for Poole Lifeboat Station to say thank you to Rachel for her sterling fundraising efforts.

Please see our fundraising gallery for more photos, and you can find out more about Rachel's story starting in May, June and December 2013, and February 2014.


Museum open for new season – 5 April 2014

As the whiff of antifoul is in the air around the boatyards of Poole, the volunteers at the lifeboat station are preparing for a busy Easter and there has also been activity, preparation and a bit Spring cleaning at the Old Lifeboat Museum on Poole Quay.

After the recent floods, the museum crew and some station volunteers have been sprucing up the place, clearing the cobwebs and flotsam left behind by the spring tides, and they are looking forward to opening the doors for another season.

The museum will reopen on Saturday 5 April and will be opened daily, weather and volunteers willing, until December.

The Old Lifeboat Station last year welcomed almost 33,500 people through the door. The ambiance of the Old Lifeboat Station is evocative and it's a rare opportunity to be able to visit an old lifeboat station very much as it was.

Today, its crew are cheery volunteers who welcome visitors and always have time for a chat and keep the small shop well stocked.

So pop along and see us soon!


Search for more volunteers after a successful year

At the recent Poole and District Fundraising Branch AGM, a review of last year's success was shared along with a hint of the forthcoming fundraising season.

2013 saw over 83,500 raised, through donations, collection boxes, legacies, souvenir sales and outdoor events, visits, talks and sheer hard work by a band of dedicated volunteers.

Volunteer Coxswain Jonathan Clark said: 'Without the sterling work of the Poole and District fundraisers, we would simply not be able to do the job that we do - save lives at sea.'

He added: 'The RNLI only exists because of committed volunteers who raise the money. We are a charity that relies on goodwill and donations and I take my hat off to the fundraising group. They raise the bar each year and do it with enthusiasm and a smile. It is about raising the money so that we can launch the lifeboats, but it's also making people aware of what we do and a bit of education to encourage people to stay safe out on the water.'

If you would like to get involved with the Poole and District Fundraising Branch, there are plenty of opportunities. You can work a shift in the museum, do an hour with a collection bucket, help with visits at the current lifeboat station or open day, help sell souvenirs at a fete, or empty a donation box. You can do anything and give as little or as much time as you like.

Please drop in at the museum or lifeboat station for a chat, or message us via Facebook or send us a tweet.

We very much look forward to hearing from you.

More fundraising news

Forthcoming events


Museum opening

Saturday 5 April 2014

Poole Old Lifeboat Station Museum opens its doors from 5 April.

Pop along and say hello!

Collecting bucket

Tesco collections

23, 24 and 25 May 2014

These are happening at Ferndown (BH22 9TH), Branksome (BH12 1AU) and Fleets Corner (BH17 7EJ) so if you would like to volunteer to help collect then please contact Paul Taylor, Chairman, Poole and District Fundraising Group on 01202 665607 (weekdays).

Poole & District's Annual Summer Dinner Dance

Friday 27 June, 7.30pm to 11.30pm

Book your tickets now for our Annual Summer Dinner Dance at RNLI College, featuring a 3 course dinner and dancing to a live band!

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.