Whitstables-new-Atlantic-85-Lifeboat-Lewisco-and-its-launching-tractor-and-carr

Byline: Whitstable’s new Atlantic 85 Lifeboat Lewisco and its launching tractor and carriage have now entered service after two days of crew training and exercises.
Page Content: The new boat, which has been funded through a bequest from a Mrs Lewis who lived in London, is 1-metre longer and slightly wider than her predecessor that allows room for four crew members and more equipment.  The lifeboat is powered by two 115hp 4-stroke engines and has a stronger hull and greater top speed of 35 knots.

The addition of radar enables the crew to operate more effectively in poor visibility and the lifeboat carries a full suite of communication and electronic navigation aids, including VHF radio, VHF direction finding equipment, an intercom between the crew and an electronic chart.

The manually operated self-righting mechanism combined with two inversion-proofed engines enable the lifeboat to remain operational even after capsize. She is also capable of being beached in an emergency without sustaining damage to engines or steering gear. The lifeboat is named after a pet of the Lewis family.

Helmsman Richard Judge who took the lifeboat to sea on Thursday said “The crew are very impressed with the new boat which has improved performance in all areas”.

“The radar and electronics will help us search more effectively and the improved speed and sea-keeping abilities of the boat will enable us to reach casualties more quickly”

“We are very grateful to the family of Mrs Lewis whose legacy has made the purchase of the boat possible”.

In addition to the new lifeboat, the station has been equipped with an up-rated launching tractor which was previously in service at New Brighton. The machine has been fully overhauled before coming to Whitstable and has impressed all at the station with its abilities.

Helmsman Tony Martin said “The new tractor has so far proved very impressive in the conditions that we operate in, its upgraded specification and ‘mud plugger’ tyres which have much deeper treads which  can handle the soft foreshore conditions more effectively and gives tractor drivers more confidence when performing launching and recovery operations”.

As with all previous Atlantic Class lifeboats at Whitstable, Lewisco and her volunteer crews will provide a maritime search and rescue service for the Kent coast between the Kingsferry Bridge on the Swale, in the west, around the south-eastern side of Sheppey and along the coast through Whitstable and Herne Bay to Reculver in the east and outwards into the Thames Estuary.

Whitstable’s former lifeboat the Atlantic 75 Oxford Town and Gown has now left the town she served for 14-years and will go into the reserve fleet for 6-months before being sold out of RNLI service.

Whitstable Lifeboat Operations Manager Mike Judge said “The members of the Oxford Branch of the RNLI, the Oxford Brooks University and the people of Oxford who raised the funds to equip Whitstable with a lifeboat back in 2000 can be very proud of the service their boat has given at Whitstable. She and her crew were launched ‘on service on 836 occasions, rescued 806 people and has been credited with saving 35 lives”

Whitstable’s new lifeboat answered its first calls on Saturday.

At 2.52pm the lifeboat was launched after two swimmers were reported to be in difficulties off the east quay at Whitstable Harbour. On arrival at the scene the lifeboat crew found that the swimmers were safe and well, having made their own way ashore.

Almost immediately after this call the lifeboat was tasked to join lifeboats from Sheerness and Southend along with an RAF Sea Ling Helicopter based at Wattisham after Thames Coastguard received a 999 call from a member of the public at Sheerness, reporting the sighting of a red flare in the Thames Estuary.

Whitstable Lifeboat searched the area around the Red Sands Towers, the Oaze Deep and the Spile Buoy off Sheppey but nothing was found and after two hours all units were stood down.

Byline: Whitstable’s new Atlantic 85 Lifeboat Lewisco and its launching tractor and carriage have now entered service after two days of crew training and exercises.
Page Content: The new boat, which has been funded through a bequest from a Mrs Lewis who lived in London, is 1-metre longer and slightly wider than her predecessor that allows room for four crew members and more equipment.  The lifeboat is powered by two 115hp 4-stroke engines and has a stronger hull and greater top speed of 35 knots.

The addition of radar enables the crew to operate more effectively in poor visibility and the lifeboat carries a full suite of communication and electronic navigation aids, including VHF radio, VHF direction finding equipment, an intercom between the crew and an electronic chart.

The manually operated self-righting mechanism combined with two inversion-proofed engines enable the lifeboat to remain operational even after capsize. She is also capable of being beached in an emergency without sustaining damage to engines or steering gear. The lifeboat is named after a pet of the Lewis family.

Helmsman Richard Judge who took the lifeboat to sea on Thursday said “The crew are very impressed with the new boat which has improved performance in all areas”.

“The radar and electronics will help us search more effectively and the improved speed and sea-keeping abilities of the boat will enable us to reach casualties more quickly”

“We are very grateful to the family of Mrs Lewis whose legacy has made the purchase of the boat possible”.

In addition to the new lifeboat, the station has been equipped with an up-rated launching tractor which was previously in service at New Brighton. The machine has been fully overhauled before coming to Whitstable and has impressed all at the station with its abilities.

Helmsman Tony Martin said “The new tractor has so far proved very impressive in the conditions that we operate in, its upgraded specification and ‘mud plugger’ tyres which have much deeper treads which  can handle the soft foreshore conditions more effectively and gives tractor drivers more confidence when performing launching and recovery operations”.


As with all previous Atlantic Class lifeboats at Whitstable, Lewisco and her volunteer crews will provide a maritime search and rescue service for the Kent coast between the Kingsferry Bridge on the Swale, in the west, around the south-eastern side of Sheppey and along the coast through Whitstable and Herne Bay to Reculver in the east and outwards into the Thames Estuary.

Whitstable’s former lifeboat the Atlantic 75 Oxford Town and Gown has now left the town she served for 14-years and will go into the reserve fleet for 6-months before being sold out of RNLI service.

Whitstable Lifeboat Operations Manager Mike Judge said “The members of the Oxford Branch of the RNLI, the Oxford Brooks University and the people of Oxford who raised the funds to equip Whitstable with a lifeboat back in 2000 can be very proud of the service their boat has given at Whitstable. She and her crew were launched ‘on service on 836 occasions, rescued 806 people and has been credited with saving 35 lives”

Whitstable’s new lifeboat answered its first calls on Saturday.

At 2.52pm the lifeboat was launched after two swimmers were reported to be in difficulties off the east quay at Whitstable Harbour. On arrival at the scene the lifeboat crew found that the swimmers were safe and well, having made their own way ashore.

Almost immediately after this call the lifeboat was tasked to join lifeboats from Sheerness and Southend along with an RAF Sea Ling Helicopter based at Wattisham after Thames Coastguard received a 999 call from a member of the public at Sheerness, reporting the sighting of a red flare in the Thames Estuary.

Whitstable Lifeboat searched the area around the Red Sands Towers, the Oaze Deep and the Spile Buoy off Sheppey but nothing was found and after two hours all units were stood down.