Hamble Lifeboat:
Our Story

Hamble Rescue was formed by residents in 1968 as the Southampton Water Inshore Rescue Service, in response to the increasing number of casualties occurring in Southampton Water and the Rivers Hamble, Itchen and Test.
The RNLI, who at the time had boats stationed at Yarmouth and Bembridge, was approached but had no boat suitable for the area.
The first Hamble Rescue boat, St Andrew, was a 17’ Dory with twin Mercury outboards. This boat, although far from ideal, provided good service and attended over 100 incidents in her first year.
In 1974, this was replaced by a larger boat, a 21’ Boston Outrage dory, which provided excellent service for several years. However, on the night of the Fastnet Disaster (1979), it launched to a yacht aground off Beaulieu. The rescue was successful, but the boat was severely damaged indicating that something bigger was required. Over the years, Hamble Rescue progressed through a series of increasingly larger RIB’s (Rigid Inflatable Boats) powered by inboard diesel engines and Castoldi water jets. These boats all had a 35kt top speed, exceptional manoeuvrability and the ability to operate in very shallow waters.
However, having only one boat meant that periodically the team was off service for maintenance. This came to a head in 1988 when a 6-month refit was required, and it was decided that to provide a 365 days per year service, two boats of equal size and capability were needed.
Today, the team has two boats; these are both Halmatic Pacific 32 (9.7m) rigid hull boats with an nflatable collar. They are fitted with twin Iveco Diesel engines rated at 330hp each, driving Castoldi water jets. The older boat, the Harry Childs, was launched in 1997, and the John & Violet Hurrell was launched in 2006. Both were purchased as a bare hull and fitted out complete with radar and GPS navigation systems as funds permitted.

In August 2003, the official organisation name changed to Hamble Lifeboat Limited, and the current working name of Hamble Lifeboat was adopted.
With two much larger boats than the 1974 shed was built for, it became clear that the team would require a larger boathouse. Initial architects’ drawings were prepared for a boathouse large enough to house a 10m RIB with space to work around it, and space to stow equipment and do crew training.
Plans were revised in 2007, and planning approval was granted in 2009, but cost estimates for the new Boathouse were too high. Discussions with a development company led to a reduced-cost design, and further discussions with the Local Authorities on the specification for the building led to grants being made towards the cost. In 2011, an agreement was signed between Hamble Lifeboat and Hamble Parish Council permitting a new Boathouse with Public toilets to be built on the existing foreshore site. Fundraising continued, and planning application updates and other design details were resolved over the ensuing 4-year period.