In 1856 an Appeal was made by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution
(RNLI) to help raise money to establish a Lifeboat Station at
Walmer. On 5th June 1856 a meeting was held by the Royal National
Lifeboat Institutions Committee of Management and it was
formally decided that a Lifeboat Station should be established
A site for a wooden boathouse was provided by Mr. Frederick
Leath and cost £186.11s.1d to house a 10-oared self-righting
lifeboat that was built by Forrest of Limehouse. The new lifeboat
arrived at Walmer in November 1856 and was named the Royal
Thames Yacht Club.
The name was given to the lifeboat following the Appeal when
a member of the Royal Thames Yacht Club offered to contribute
half the cost of the new lifeboat at Walmer, so long as the
other members of the club raised the remainder of the money.
The new lifeboat was first launched on service on 5th January
1856, to rescue 13 crew and two local boatmen from the barque
Reliance that had become wrecked in rough seas and
a severe gale, along with heavy snow, off Walmer. It sometimes
proved difficult for the Walmer lifeboat to reach a wrecked
vessel depending on the direction of the wind and tide.