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The Royal National Life-boat Institution placed a lifeboat at Bembridge because of the removal of the Nab Light Vessel to a greater distance from the shore and as a result of the rescue of the crew of the Norwegian Barque Egbert by the fishermen of Bembridge in an ordinary open boat.

In July 1867 the Committee of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution decided to base a lifeboat at Bembridge using £524 donated to the RNLI by the citizens of Worcester.  The life-boat was named for its donors, the City of Worcester, was delivered in October of that year.  In November she was called out for the first time, in rough weather, to assist the brig Bessie, of Sunderland, seen to anchor dangerously nearby. (She was guided safely into Bembridge Harbour, the RNLI later awarding £7 4s 0d to the lifeboat crew). [The Life-boat, January 1868 (6/67)]

The first lifeboat was launched off a carriage with the aid of oil flares on dark nights, and messages had to be passed by foot messenger or a man on horseback.

The first Lifeboat house was constructed the same year, at a cost of £165.