The Gosport & Fareham Inshore Rescue Service now has two new lifeboats to carry out its lifesaving work following a generous legacy from a supporter.

Record-breaking sailor Dee Caffari officially launched Gosport & Fareham Inshore Rescue Service’s (GAFIRS) two new lifeboats on 18 June.

Caffari celebrated the naming of the Joan Dora Fuller, the rescue service’s 9 metre RIB, and the Ian Fuller, GAFIRS’ smaller 4.8m RIB, by spraying the two new lifeboats with champagne.

The ceremony, held at GAFIRS’ Stokes Bay headquarters, Gosport, was attended by the mayors of Gosport and Fareham.

The two new Gosport & Fareham Inshore Rescue Service lifeboats

The two new lifeboats. Credit: Tom Clark


Roy West, a close friend of the Fuller family who bequeathed the money to pay for the new boats, was also at the ceremony.

“I am sure that Brian, who was a family man, would love to see the name of his wife and son on these boats at sea on missions,” said West.

“The launch ceremony was really nice and it is a great group of people who volunteer for GAFIRS,” he noted.

Dee Caffari with volunteers with the Gosport & Fareham Inshore Rescue Service

Dee Caffari with some of the volunteer crew. Credit: Tom Clark


The GAFIRS chairman, Keith Thomas said: “Brian Fuller left GAFIRS a legacy in his will with specific instructions that it was used to pay for a new lifeboat and named after his wife, Joan. His legacy was so generous that we managed to pay for two new lifeboats.”

The naming ceremony was led by speeches from Thomas, West and GAFIRS president, John Lee, before the champagne was let loose.

Dee Caffari, who is patron of the GAFIRS, praised the work of the independent rescue service.

“The Solent is my playground, so to have the reassurance of the work GAFIRS do and knowing that should the worst happen that I’m in good hands is very comforting,” said Caffari.

“Today we’ve launched two lifeboats, which for an independent station like GAFIRS is quite outstanding. Knowing that these two boats are now keeping the waters safe in the Solent with such exceptional crews is fantastic,” commented the yachtswoman.

Kay Cottee

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