Gravesend Lifeboat covers an area from Holehaven, at the western end of Canvey Island, to the Thames Flood Barrier at Woolwich, a distance of 26 miles. Although it is very unusual within the RNLI to have crew permanently at a station, the requirement to reach 90% of incidents within 15 minutes of being tasked makes this a necessity.
The full-time staff work a shift system of four twelve-hour days, then four days off, followed by four nights, then four days off. Our volunteer crew are asked to attend for a minimum of two twelve-hour shifts per month, either day or night. Because there is no need to live very close to the lifeboat station, to respond to a pager, many people who would otherwise have been unable to volunteer as lifeboat crew have been able to do so.