Who are we?

GAFIRS is an independent lifeboat and inshore rescue service that was founded in 1969. As a declared facility to the UK Coastguard, we provide emergency lifeboat cover to the Eastern Solent and Portsmouth Harbour.


Our crews live normal lives just like you. However, when the Coastguard activate those of them on pager call out, they drop everything at a moment’s notice and respond to people in distress; 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and in all weathers.


On average we respond to 100 incidents per year. These vary from towing stricken vessels away from danger, all the way to providing life saving first aid to critically injured casualties. Time and time again our teams have been awarded national commendations for our life saving services to the community. Our members commit hundreds of hours each per year in order to maintain this vital public service.

About the charity

GAFIRS is a charity registered in England (registered charity number 1159681).


Our service is managed and delivered entirely by volunteers. Management is by elected committee and a number of honorary positions reflect our community ethos. We provide a wide range of services to the community: these include delivering safety presentations to water sports clubs, accident prevention and beach safety events at schools, to promotions at local fairs and fetes, the amazing 999 emergency services day and the highly successful New Years Day Swim, raising funds for various charities under the watchful eye of GAFIRS.

Honorary Positions


Surgeon Rear Admiral Lionel John Jarvis, CBE, KStJ, QHS, FRCR, DL

Charity Patron

The Worshipful, The Mayor of Gosport, Councillor Martin Pepper

Joint President

The Worshipful, The Mayor of Fareham, Councillor Fred Birkett

Joint President

John Lee

Vice President

Our Charity Directors


Joanne Young

Chair of the Board

Keith Thomas


Andrew Barber

Operations Director
TC Profile

Tom Clark

Community Director

Kelly O'Neill

Personnel Director
EK Photo

Edward Kersey

Engineering Director

Owen Sargant

Finance Director

Ben Keith & Mark Round

Non-executive Directors

Our Working Group Co-ordinators and Advisors

Andrew Murphy

Health and Safety Officer

Pamela Oddy

Safeguarding Officer

Richard Brady

Casualty Care Working Group Co-ordinator


GAFIRS Fleet of Lifeboats


Gosport Lifeboat is fitted with the latest technology, extending her capabilities and decrease response times. She has the latest in radar and navigation technology and VHF direction finding device. She is fitted with two 2 x Yanmar 8LV, 4.42-litre turbo diesel V8s producing 320hp each. Driving 2 x Hamilton waterjets via an electrically controlled reversible gearbox

Joan Dora Fuller

Gosport Lifeboat

9.0 metres

43 knots / 50mph

3-4 crew


Gosport ILB (Inshore Lifeboat) has been designed by the service as a patrol craft and secondary lifeboat. She was built by Ribcraft and is powered by a single outboard engine. A specially designed trailer enables her to be taken to inland incidents.

Ian Fuller

Gosport Inshore Lifeboat

4.8 metres

30 knots / 35mph

2-3 crew



Our multipurpose rescue unit, the long wheelbase Landrover carries first aid and rescue stretchers. This incident support vehicle is regularly deployed to provide shore side assistance for the lifeboat and during shoreline searches. The Landover works alongside other emergency services where off-road vehicles are required.

Land Rover Defender

Gosport Rescue Mobile

2.6-litre diesel

Crew transport capability


The four wheel drive Valtra tractor, call sign ‘Gosport Rescue Tango’ is used for the launch and recovery of our lifeboat fleet.


Gosport Rescue Tango

Pulls 10+ tonnes

Annual Accounts and Information

Annual Accounts 2020

Annual Summary 2021

Want to get in touch with the GAFIRS team?