An inshore lifeboat station was first established in July 1963 when a D class lifeboat was placed on service and manned by fishermen and dockers working on the harbour and living nearby.

In 1974 it was replaced by a bigger B Class Atlantic 21. In 1989 a single storey extension was built to the side of the boathouse. A fuel store, turntable store, a general storeroom, drying room and a souvenir sales outlet were all provided. In 1999 the Atlantic 21 named ‘British Diver’ capsized after being launched in a gale to rescue three fishermen. It was replaced in 2000 when the new boathouse was completed to house the ‘Oxford Town & Gown’ a new Atlantic 75. In 2014 the station was rebuilt and re-equipped with the latest version of the Atlantic, an 8.5m lifeboat named ‘Lewisco’. The Atlantic 85 is a rigid inflatable lifeboat, which has a manually operated self-righting mechanism, is manned by 4 volunteers and is launched down the beach in a carriage pushed by a specially built tractor. On average the lifeboat is tasked to about 60 incidents per year.

Station honours

At Whitstable lifeboat station, the following awards have been made:

Thanks of the Institution

  • David Victor Foreman – 1977
  • Michael A. Judge – 1981
  • Michael Gambrill – 1986
  • Jon Carter  – 2009

Other honours

  • In 2000, David Parry was awarded the Bronze Medal
  • In 2001, Mike Judge was awarded an MBE
  • In 2003, David Lamberton was also awarded an MBE

History of the harbour



Public Consultation for Art Installation in Whitstable Harbour

Published: Monday 27 November

An art installation is to be erected in Whitstable Harbour in 2018 in memory of former Whitstable Harbour Board member, Ian Waddington.

Harbour Board Meeting

Published: Tuesday 21 November

If you would like to come along, the details are here.


Festive Afternoon Tea

01 December - 24 December

Treat yourselves to a delicious festive Afternoon Tea this December This will be the only available afternoon tea in... at Whitstable Castle and Gardens

Christmas Lunches

05 December - 24 December

Join us for a delicious Christmas lunch in our beautiful and festive Orangery... at Whitstable Castle and Gardens