Abersoch inshore lifeboat station

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Abersoch lifeboat station, Min-y-Don

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution established a lifeboat station at Abersoch in 1869, when the boat house cost £170 to build. Just a year later, the station received its first silver medal – awarded to the secretary, Rev Owen Lloyd Williams, for his part in rescuing 13 men from the Quebec-built ship Kenilworth. The ship had sailed from New Orleans carrying cotton and tobacco when it struck rocks in January 1870. It took the lifeboat three hours to find the wreck in darkness, and the rough seas made the rescue dangerous.

The Rev Williams received another silver medal in 1879 for his “intrepid services” in both this lifeboat and the one at Porthdinllaen, on the opposite side of the Llŷn Peninsula.

The building which is known locally as the old lifeboat station was erected in 1894, with its slipway, for £1,350. It closed in 1931.

In 1965 an inshore lifeboat station was established at Abersoch, with a D-class lifeboat. A new boathouse was built in 1994, with space for the lifeboat as well as its trolley and the tractor which pulls it to the sea for launching. In 2002 the station received an Atlantic 75 lifeboat, named Margaret Bench of Solihull after the woman whose legacy funded it. Residents of the West Midlands have funded lifeboats at Abersoch since 1978.

The lifeboat service in the UK is provided not by government but by the RNLI, a charity which relies on donations from the public. Since it was established in 1824, the RNLI is estimated to have saved c.140,000  lives. It employs some crew members but most, 40,000 in total, are volunteers who leave their work, families or beds whenever their lifeboat is needed.

FOOTNOTES: More Abersoch rescues

Where is this HiPoint?

Postcode: LL53 7AG

Other SHIPWRECK HiPoints in this region:
Dinas Dinlle – ex-army amphibious vehicle wrecked as Caernarfon man tried to sail it to Australia
Criccieth lifeboat station - men who had clung all night to remains of a wrecked barque were rescued in 1885

RNLI on HistoryPoints.org

RNLI website

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