Retired RNLI London lifeboat station towed away beneath Tower Bridge

RNLI/Hallmark Broadcast
RNLI lifeboat base is towed away down the Thames Credit: RNLI/Hallmark Broadcast

Britain's busiest lifeboat station has floated away from its home on near Tower Bridge in central London.

The RNLI’s ageing base on Victoria Embankment is no longer fit for purpose so was towed away beneath one of London's most iconic landmarks.

The station was a vital part of the capital's lifeboat operation for 16 years with parts of the pontoon dating back to the Victorian era when it was used by the Metropolitan Police.

Tower Lifeboat Station Manager Kevin Maynard said: "We are looking forward to our new facilities to help us provide the service the people of London deserve to keep them as safe as possible.

"In the meantime, I’d like to reassure people that we are continuing to run our lifesaving service as normal along the Thames – and remember if they get into trouble to ring 999 and ask for the Coastguard."

Lifeboat station floats beneath Tower Bridge Credit: RNLI/Hallmark Broadcast

Since 2002 the Tower lifeboat crew have launched 9,545 times, saving 355 people across 16 miles of the Thames - just last year (2022) the station had 750 call outs.

The history of the station began following the tragedy of the pleasure boat Marchioness in 1989 in which 51 people lost their lives after a collision with a dredger.

An inquiry following the tragedy recommended the need for a dedicated rescue service on the Thames.

The retired lifeboat station and will be used by Thames Marine Services as one of six electrical charging facilities.

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