New “All Weather” Lifeboat for Solent Rescue

By Jon Chittock

December 19, 2016

Lymington, Hampshire – The independent Lifeboat station, Solent Rescue, is undertaking its biggest project since the unit was established in 1971.  It has been announced this week, that Solent Rescue have ordered a 9-metre-long Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB) with an enclosed cabin from Gemini Marine U.K.

The Gemini Cabin RIB is an “All Weather” Lifeboat and which will provide the volunteer lifesaving organisation with the ultimate search and rescue vessel for the 21st Century.

The charity’s Treasurer/Project Manager Cameron Critchfield said “Solent Rescue are proud to announce that we have entered into partnership with Gemini Marine U.K. to build our new, state of the art, lifeboat for use in, around and potentially beyond the Solent.”

Gemini Marine is the primary manufacturer of lifeboats for the National Sea Rescue Institute in South Africa.  The Gemini Cabin RIB is currently in service as part of the NSRI fleet, operating in some of the harshest sea conditions in the world.

A Cabin RIB combines the high performance of a RIB, a light weight hull and excellent stability, with the shelter and protection offered by a conventional cabin vessel.  Solent Rescue will be able to patrol for longer and reach further; they will also have the capability to look after casualties in a warm, safe environment on board.

The Directors of Gemini Marine UK have both volunteered on the Lymington Lifeboat for 10 years and Gemini Marine have been building lifeboats for over 30 years.  Solent Rescue are excited by the prospect of working with a team that combines experience across three different lifesaving organisations.

The build will start in the new year and will the vessel will be launched at the start of next season.

About Gemini Marine UK

Gemini Marine UK was founded by two former Army officers (Iain Wood & Jon Chittock) who met at the Infantry Training Centre in Warminster.  Many years later, by coincidence they re-united when they both volunteered at the local lifeboat station.  Having previously set up in business together they started Lymington Sea School, an RYA recognised training centre.  When they were looking for the ideal RIB to teach students, they discovered Gemini Marine via an old army contact.  They were so impressed by the design and build of the Gemini range they decided to start selling them in the UK.

For more information, please visit

About Gemini Marine

Gemini Marine is a long establish boat builder based in Cape Town, South Africa.  Since 1979 Gemini Marine has designed and produced a full range of boats from 3.1m to 10.6m. Built to the highest standards and renowned for their performance, durability and seakeeping.  Today, Gemini Marine exports to over 45 Countries world-wide, including the UK, where their newly appointed dealer trading as Gemini Marine UK will be handling all UK sales and inquiries.

For more information, please visit

About Solent Rescue

Solent Rescue is an independent Lifeboat (i.e. not part of RNLI).  The organisation was established in 1971, initially as a beach rescue unit, operated by auxiliary coastguards.

Based at Lepe Country Park, Exbury, Hampshire, Solent Rescue has developed into a fully operational lifeboat station, which operates under the direct control of HM Coastguard and is responsible for approximately 33 square miles of the central and western Solent.

The Solent is the busiest recreational waterway in the world and as such, demands dedicated well trained lifeboat crews to assist the many people that find themselves in difficulties within its 160sq miles. With hilltop views from Lepe Country Park, Solent Rescue covers 20% of the area, from the Lepe foreshore to Hurst castle and is the only independent lifeboat in the Western Solent.

Solent Rescue is a Registered Charity: 267039


To learn more about Gemini Marine UK, please contact

Iain Wood
Gemini Marine UK
Haven Quay
SO41 9AZ
Tel: 01590 676621

To learn more about Solent Rescue Lifeboat, please contact

Cameron Critchfield
Treasurer/Project Manager
Solent Rescue
9 Sycamore Way
Tel: 07747788851

Did You Know?

Solent Rescue were established in 1971 initially as a beach rescue unit operated by auxiliary coastguards.

Solent Rescue has since then developed into a fully operational independent lifeboat station, which operates under the direct control of HM Coastguard and is responsible for approximately 33 square miles of the central and western Solent.

About Us >

Lepe Country Park

Lepe Country Park is based on the North Western Coast of the Solent Waterway and runs from Stanswood Bay to the mouth of the Beaulieu River.

Lepe was once one of the main ports in the Solent but was wiped out of existence by a great storm in the seventeenth century resulting in the untimely demise of the related fishing community.

WWII Ruins >