Who we are
Freshwater Independent Lifeboat has been saving lives at sea since 1972. We are totally independent, standalone and rely entirely on the goodwill of hundreds of volunteers to save lives at sea anywhere between The Needles lighthouse and St Catherine’s lighthouse on the southwest coast of the Isle of Wight, including the popular Freshwater and Compton Bays and up to 30 miles offshore.
Freshwater Independent Lifeboat operates an Offshore 9.8m RIB Lifeboat, an inshore D-Class Lifeboat and two Jet Skis for fast response inshore rescues.
It costs £100,000 annually to keep all lifeboats and rescue equipment in tip top condition and ready to save lives at sea at a moment's notice. Everyone volunteers their time, effort and energy ... No one is paid. Most of our crew work and drop everything and just go when there is a Shout! We do not receive any money from the Government or RNLI.
The replacement cost of the Offshore Lifeboat is £300,000, the D-Class is £50,000 and each Jet Ski £15,000. Each member of crew needs a lifejacket, helmet, foul weather jackets, trousers and protective boots to keep them safe at a cost of £1,980, which regularly needs replacing due to the harsh conditions.
Freshwater Independent Lifeboat has a major project to resolve ongoing problems caused by shingle and stones invading the slipway. This causes significant issues during launch and recovery. Modifications to the slipway are essential to fully alleviate the problem. A major funding initiative is underway to secure the necessary funds.
Being part of and supporting the local community is important to us. We regularly give talks to local schools and clubs. We have open days and provide tours of the Lifeboats. We provide safety cover to many community sea based events, including the cross Solent swims and the Round the Island Race.