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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.

Our Honorary Officers


Dee Caffari MBE RNR Honorary Commander

Charity Patron

The Worshipful, The Mayor of Gosport, Diane Furlong

Joint President

The Worshipful, The Mayor of Fareham, Susan Bayford

Joint President

John Lee

Vice President

Our Voluntary Charity Directors

Keith Thomas


Tom Clark


Peter Brown

Operations Director

James Baggott

Community Director

Joe Wallington

Personnel Director

Colin Davey

Finance Director

Our Voluntary Co-ordinators

Brian Pack

Senior Helmsman


Chris Newbrook

Training Group Co-ordinator


Jake Robinson

Fundraising Events Manager


Richard Brady

Casualty Care Working Group Co-ordinator


Chris Newbrook

Training Working Group Co-ordinator


Andrew Murphy

Health and Safety Advisor


Joanne Young

Safeguarding Officer


Want to get in touch with the GAFIRS team?