The lifeboat is named after the donor whose generous legacy funded the majority of the £2.7million cost. Enid lived in Great Shelford, Cambridgeshire, and had no connection or personal involvement with the sea or maritime matters. However, her niece was a strong supporter and a fundraiser for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and it was through their relationship that Enid decided to leave a gift in her will.
The Enid Collett was the first Tamar class lifeboat to go on service at a mainland lifeboat station in the RNLI’s south east region. She was escorted into harbour by RNLI lifeboats from Newhaven, Brighton and Littlehampton. She replaced the Tyne class lifeboat Lady Hermione Colwyn that had been on station since 1990. In January 2009, the Lady Hermione Colwyn was launched down the old lifeboat station’s slipway for the last time, before being moored afloat by the locks for the new build to begin. She made her last trip through the locks and sailed away on November 23, 2010.