Guernsey’s Lifeboat

Welcome to the official web site for the St Peter Port lifeboat!

The Guernsey lifeboat station is one of only four in the Channel Islands. Operating for over 200 years, the crews of the Guernsey lifeboats have been honoured with several awards for gallantry.

Spirit of Guernsey battling the waves on Guernsey’s south coast – picture by Jonathan Le Ray

The first Lifeboat Station on Guernsey was established at St Sampsons in 1803 following representation to the then States of Guernsey by the Douzaine (local parish council) of St Peter Port. The Station was taken over by the RNLI in 1861 and subsequently moved to St Peter Port, where it is presently based, in 1881.

The Station has seen a variety of lifeboats over the years and the current lifeboat is the Severn class ‘Spirit of Guernsey’. The Island has always been proud to support the Lifeboat Station and crews; in 1973 a special appeal raised a considerable sum towards the cost of the Arun Class “Sir William Arnold”.

Twenty years later an appeal was launched to raise £1 million to support the building of “Spirit of Guernsey”. Thanks to the generosity of friends in Guernsey, Sark, Herm and further afield, the target was achieved within one year.

The RNLI relies entirely on voluntary donations.


Picture by Brian Green

Records show that the Guernsey Lifeboats have been launched over 1,330 times and saved almost 600 lives. Guernsey can be extremely proud of the many Coxswains and crew who have accumulated a most impressive number of RNLI gallantry awards with no less than 2 Gold Medals, 8 Silver Medals and 15 Bronze Medals being awarded since 1861. There were also 6 Silver Medals awarded before the RNLI took over the Station. In addition, the bravery and skill of local crews have been recognised by several foreign Governments with awards from France, Norway, Greece and Liberia. This show of bravery is almost unparalleled by any other RNLI Station in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland.

Registered Charity Number 209603 – for the Official RNLI web site, please visit



The Severn class lifeboat is the largest lifeboat used by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), a UK charity dedicated to saving life at sea. The class is named after the River Severn, the longest river in Great Britain.

There are forty-six Severn class lifeboats serving the RNLI around the coast of the UK and Ireland since the introduction of the class in 1996. It carries a Y Class inflatable boat, which can be deployed by an on-board crane for use in shallow water.

Severns have a comprehensive electronics fit including full MF and VHF DSC radio equipment, DGPS Navigator, an electronic chart system, VHF/DF, radar and weather sensors. For added manoeuvrability, in addition to twin engines, the Severn also has a bow thruster fitted. The propellers are enclosed so the Severn can take ground without damaging them.

The Severn is constructed of fibre reinforced composite material, and the hard chine semi-displacement hull built to a two compartment standard, meaning it can stay afloat with two of its five compartments flooded. Provision for survivors includes comprehensive first aid equipment including stretchers, oxygen and Entonox.

Severns carry a portable salvage pump in a water-tight container, and can also carry out pumping and fire fighting tasks using the engine driven general service pump.

Category All-weather
Introduced 1995
Length 17m
Range 250 nautical miles
Speed 25 knots
Weight 41 tonnes
Crew 6
Construction Fibre reinforced composite
Launch type Moored afloat

Key Features

Self righting

All RNLI all-weather lifeboats are inherently self righting and undergo a rigorous righting trial before joining the fleet. Should an all-weather lifeboat be knocked over in extreme weather, it will automatically right itself within a few seconds.

Navigation and communication

All-weather lifeboats are fitted with the latest in navigation, location and communication equipment – including electronic chart plotter, VHF radio with direction finder, radar and global positioning systems (GPS). Inshore lifeboats and hovercraft also have VHF radio and GPS, with the Atlantic 85 and E class carrying the additional radar.

A complete tour of Guernsey’s Lifeboat

General Information

Country Guernsey, Channel Islands
Organisation RNLI
Royal National Lifeboat Institution Lifeboat class Severn / 17.00m
Name Spirit of Guernsey
Operational number 17-04
Internal Number ON 1203
Call sign VQFT6

Technical Data

Classification all-weather lifeboat
Propulsion motor
Launch method afloat
Selfrighting yes
Selfrighting type inherent
Hull type semi-planning
Hull material Fibre Reinforced Composite (FRC)
Superstructure material Fibre Reinforced Composite (FRC)
Length 17.00 m
Beam 5.49 m
Draught 1.37 m
Displacement 37.5 ton
Speed 25 knots
Propellers 2
Fixed pitch propellers 2
Engines 2x 1,200 = 2,400 hp
Engine manufacturer Caterpillar
Bowthrusters 1x
Range 250 nautical miles
Fuel consumption 480 l/h
Fuel capacity 5,500 litres
Survivor capacity, selfrighting 47
Survivor capacity, non-selfrighting 185
Crew 6 – 7