Barmouth lifeboat station
The RNLI lifeboat station at Barmouth opened in 1828, operating from a new boathouse built at a cost of £95. The need for life-saving equipment and volunteers had been underlined by many shipwrecks along this part of the coast.
In 1825 the RNLI awarded one of its first ever silver medals to local man Edmond Lewis for single-handedly rescuing seven men from a ship, called Neptune, which had previously been abandoned in a storm. Seven men from Barmouth boarded the deserted ship in a rescue attempt, but the vessel was wrecked on the rocks and the men were presumed dead. Attached to a rope, Mr Lewis descended a cliff, boarded the wreck and provided ropes for the men to reach safety.
In 1859 a new boathouse was built, with a slipway intalled in 1885 for easier launching. The current boathouse was completed in 2004.
An inshore lifeboat station was established in 1967, with a D-class lifeboat. The current D-class boat, Pilgrim, has served Barmouth since 1997, and the Mersey-class lifeboat Moira Barrie has been here since 1992.
In 1957 the Thanks of the Institution Inscribed on Vellum were awarded to William Morris and George Berridge for rescuing four children who were in trouble off the beach. Five other children died that day. In the same year, William Morris was also awarded the Maud Smith Award for the bravest act of lifesaving during the year by a member of a lifeboat crew.
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 Barmouth rescues
Postcode: LL42 1NF
Other SHIPWRECK HiPoints in this region:
New York shipwreck – ship belonged to Macy family and carried apples, still reputedly growing locally
Aberdyfi lifeboat – shipwrecked Norwegian crew cheered by a crowd as they reached Aberdyfi in 1897