Harwich Lifeboat Station

History 1965 to the present day

With the increase in sailing boats in the River Stour and River Orwell, the RNLI re-opened the Harwich Lifeboat Station in 1965. A 16ft inshore rescue boat was placed on Station, which was partly funded from a local fund.

In 1966 the RNLI Committee of Management reviewed the East Coast lifeboat require­ment and decided to place a 44ft Waveney class lifeboat at Harwich for a two year trial period. The inshore lifeboat also remained to cover the estuary. In September 1967 the Waveney class lifeboat built by Brooke Marine of Lowestoft took up station at Harwich. The naming ceremony and service of dedication was held on September 27th at Trinity Pier, Harwich. The Lifeboat 44-005 was named Margaret Graham and was the gift from an anonymous donor to record the friendship of William H Cavenaugh, Hazel M Dugan, Theodore and Margaret N Harley with the donor.

Due to the excellent work of the 16ft inshore lifeboat the RNLI decided to replace this craft with a fast 21ft boat of the Atlantic class. On the 27th May 1978 this Lifeboat was dedicated and handed over to the care of the Harwich Station by Lady Norton MBE, a member of the RNLI Committee of Management. This boat was a gift from a donor who wished to be known as an Essex lady. This Atlantic 21 had no name and was referred to by its boat number B526, had previously been in the RNLI relief fleet and used at other Stations.

1980 saw the replacement of the Margaret Graham by a similar class lifeboat. On 26th July the lifeboat was dedicated and named John Fison. The new boat was named by Mrs D E Fison in memory of her late husband John. In addition to monies donated by the Fison family other donations and trusts contributed to the total cost.

The ageing Atlantic 21 B526 was replaced by a new inshore lifeboat on 30th October 1987. This Lifeboat B571 was funded by the British Sub Aqua Club and is named British Diver II.

The number of persons in distress at sea and requiring the services of the ~arwich lifeboats is ever increasing with annual launches of about 100 a year. Because of the demand on the Harwich lifeboats and its vast area of coverage the RNLI decided to allo­cate the first Severn class lifeboat in England to Harwich. This has a speed of 25 knots and is capable of responding to major marine accidents where many lives may be at risk.

The Severn class allocated to Harwich is 17-03 and named Albert Brown after a bequest from the late Victoria Maisie Brown to commemorate her late husband. It was named by Terry Waite CBE on 25th May 1997.

The inshore lifeboat was upgraded in 2002 and an Atlanctic 75 was funded by The Boys Bridgade and named Sure and Steadfast on 18 May 2003