History of Poole Lifeboat Station: 2000–10



Framed Letters of Thanks, signed by the Chairman of the RNLI, Mr Peter Nicholson, were awarded to Helmsman Gavin Mc Guinness and Crew Members Anne Millman and Paul Savage for a service on 5 May 2001.

Second Coxswain Mark Cole received an individual Letter of Appreciation and the crew of the Brede class lifeboat received a collective Letter of Appreciation.

(Left to right) Paul Savage, Anne Millman, Gavin McGuinness, Mark Cole  Photo: Geoff Smyth

(Left to right) Paul Savage, Anne Millman, Gavin McGuinness, Mark Cole
Photo: Geoff Smyth

It had been a busy afternoon when both lifeboats were called to the Poole Chain Ferry where four dinghies, taking part in a race, had been caught by a strong ebb tide and pinned against the ferry’s side. Helmsman Mc Guinness placed the inshore lifeboat alongside the ferry whilst the two crew members struggled to recover a man from the sea. Both the man and the lifeboat were in danger of being sucked under the ferry. The Brede class intermediate lifeboat passed a line to the inshore lifeboat, which enabled it to be towed free and the man was recovered from the sea.

Photo: Jenny Waldron

Photo: Jenny Waldron

The Tyne class lifeboat ON-1131 City of Sheffield was placed on service at the station on 5 September. This changed the station from an intermediate to an all-weather lifeboat station.

Tyne class for station panel2004

The Poole Lifeboat Museum and gift shop had to close its doors due to health and safety regulations.


The Poole lifeboat fundraising group was formed. Its aim is to raise money locally to fund the running of Poole lifeboat station and to get the museum (the old lifeboat station at the east end of the quay) reopened. They meet monthly at the station and have close links with the crew.

Long service presentation On 6 August, Coxswain Jonathan Clark and Senior Helmsman Paul Singleton were both awarded long service medals for serving over 20 years each as volunteer lifeboat crew.



At the end of May the old lifeboat station museum reopened its doors to the public. The museum is unchanged since it was the operational station in 1974.

It tells the history of Poole’s lifeboat crews and boats and you can view the Thomas Kirk Wright, the first motorised lifeboat to be on station at Poole and it was also a Dunkirk little ship.



On 19 January retired Second Coxswain John Clark was awarded a Poole Achievement Award as part of the year of the volunteer. He was a member of the crew for nearly 20 years and has raised funds at the Old Lifeboat Station and is also involved with several other charities locally.

26325 Paul Singleton and Esther RantzenOn 6 July, Senior Helmsman Paul ‘Flipper’ Singleton was awarded a BBC Community Champion award at an awards ceremony hosted by BBC South Today’s Sally Taylor. Esther Rantzen handed out the awards.





The B class Atlantic 85 lifeboat B-826 Sgt Bob Martin (Civil Service No. 50) was placed on service at the station on 4 December. The sleek new craft replaced Friendly Forester II, which had been on service at Poole since April 1995 and was often the busiest inshore lifeboat in the country.

Sgt Bob


6 June saw the naming ceremony and dedication of the Atlantic 85 lifeboat. The lifeboat was named after Sgt Bob Martin, who was ex-Durham Light Infantry and a long-term supporter of the RNLI at the Royal Hospital, Chelsea.

Photo: Nathan Williams

Photo: Nathan Williams

Photo: Nathan Williams

Photo: Nathan Williams

On 3 September, RNLI lifeboat crews and supporters observed a minute’s silence at 12.20pm when the new RNLI memorial was unveiled outside Headquarters in Poole. The silence was a sign of respect and gratitude to the many people connected with the charity who have lost their lives helping to save others at sea.

Nearly 125 years ago, James Hughes, a crew member at Poole lifeboat station, tragically died when he fell under the launching carriage during a lifeboat exercise on 9 October 1884. James is one of over 85 in the RNLI’s South division and one of a total of 778 people commemorated on the new RNLI memorial from all corners of the UK and RoI.

Click here to read more about the RNLI memorial unveiling ceremony.


A commemoration service was held on 29 May at the Old Lifeboat Museum on Poole Quay for the 70th anniversary of the Dunkirk evacuation. In May and June 1940, Poole Lifeboat Station’s first motor lifeboat Thomas Kirk Wright was one of 19 lifeboats that was requisitioned to evacuate troops from the Dunkirk area.

UntitledTo mark the 70th anniversary of the Dunkirk evacuation, the Rev Bob Mason of St James’s Church conducted an open-air service and Captain Hugh Fogarty, Head of Fleet Operations, talked about the role of the RNLI, including Poole’s lifeboat, in the Dunkirk evacuation.

After the service, the crews of the all-weather and inshore lifeboats took them and the Mayor and Mayoress of Poole out to Poole Bay where the Mayor laid a wreath to remember all those involved in the evacuation and the War.