Guernsey Post commemorates RNLI’s Bicentenary with stamps

Guernsey Post’s philatelic bureau today announces the release of commemorative stamps to mark the 200th anniversary of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI). The stamps, which depict the charity’s lifesaving past – and present – in the Bailiwick of Guernsey, have been produced in conjunction with the RNLI and is one of three stamp issues released by the Crown Dependencies of Guernsey, the Isle of Man and Jersey to celebrate the charity’s 200 years of lifesaving.

The RNLI has been saving lives at sea since it was founded in 1824. Since then, its volunteer lifeboat crews and lifeguards have rescued over 144,000 people – that’s nearly two every day since its founding. Charitable donations continue to power the RNLI’s lifesaving capabilities and today, the charity has a network of 238 lifeboat stations and more than 240 lifeguarded beaches across the UK, Ireland, and the Channel Islands.

The stamps


St Peter Port’s Severn class all-weather boat passes Bréhon Tower in the Little Roussel channel. She is the largest lifeboat in the RNLI fleet and capable of operating in the worst conditions. St Peter Port crews have been saving lives in the English Channel and Saint-Malo Bay since 1803 and have received 25 Medals for Gallantry.


The Trent class lifeboat motors past Les Étacs, the gannet colony. With a top speed of 25 knots, she was the fastest all-weather lifeboat of the time and the first capable of covering 250 nautical miles. Alderney Lifeboat Station was first established in 1869 but closed in 1884, following difficulties with finding crew. The station was re-established in 1984 and her crews have saved many lives since.


One of Port St Mary RNLI’s most famous rescues was in December 1981, when the volunteer crew saved the lives of 29 people from the stricken vessel Bonita. The cargo ship was listing heavily in massive seas, hurricane force winds, snow and failing light. After more than 10 hours at sea, the lifesavers and their casualties safely reached land. Lifeboat Coxswain Mike Scales received a Gold Medal for gallantry and the crew all received Bronze Medals.


St Peter Port’s rowing and sailing lifeboat Arthur Lionel was the main attraction of Guernsey Lifeboat Day in August 1924. The 35ft Liverpool class craft was hauled through the streets by horses, with her volunteer crew onboard in sou’westers and oilskins. The lifeboat saved lives on the Island from 1912–29 before serving Minehead volunteers for a decade.


Shown in front of the boathouse with her crew onboard wearing cork lifejackets, the Self Righter class lifeboat served the RNLI volunteers of St Peter Port from 1875–88. The 32ft craft was powered by oar and sail. In 1875 she capsized at sea but, fortunately, no lives were lost. In 1881, she was rehoused in a new boathouse on the south side of St Peter Port, reusing materials from the old station.


Witnessing dozens of shipwrecks around the Isle of Man, Hillary refused to sit by and let people drown. With the help of locals in simple boats, he saved many lives. It inspired him to campaign for a national organisation, where volunteers would save lives from shipwrecks across the British Isles and Ireland. His impassioned plea led to the foundation of the RNLI on 4 March 1824. The new charity received public donations to help it provide lifeboats to communities that needed them – and it has, ever since.

Mark Dowie, RNLI Chief Executive, said: – “Guernsey and Alderney have a remarkable history of lifesaving courage. These stamps are a wonderful way to recognise the incredible lifesaving efforts of the volunteers across the Bailiwick as we commemorate our milestone anniversary in 2024 and look forward to the next 200 years of lifesaving.”

Bridget Yabsley, head of philatelic at Guernsey Post, added: – “As the RNLI celebrates its 200th anniversary today, we are absolutely delighted to release these stamps as a piece of RNLI history, reflecting the Bailiwick’s remarkable lifesaving past, and present.”

Commemorative stamp collections from Guernsey, the Isle of Man and Jersey stand as tributes to the unwavering courage of RNLI volunteers, the legacy of lifesaving technology, and the enduring spirit of solidarity across the British Isles.

Philatelists and enthusiasts alike can delve into these collections, each offering a unique perspective on the RNLI’s remarkable journey, leaving an indelible mark on philatelic history. For more information or to pre-order these historic stamp collections, visit the respective post office websites at,, and

Guernsey’s stamp products are available to order now at or by calling Philatelic Customer Services on +44 (0) 1481 716486.


Place your advert here.