Cardigan lifeboat station
Cardigan’s first lifeboat station opened in 1849 on the south side of the river Teifi, below Penrhyn Castle. The RNLI took over the station the following year. In 1919 coxswain Thomas Bowen received a bronze medal for the rescue of 10 crew members from a steamer which got into trouble in heavy seas, snow and a gale.
In 1932 the lifeboat station closed, following a decline in commercial shipping. A new inshore lifeboat station, at Poppit Sands, was opened in 1971 in response to the growth in leisure activities. It was equipped with a D-class lifeboat. Just a year later, the crew received their first bravery awards for the rescue of four people from a boat capsized on Cardigan Bar. Framed Letters of Thanks were sent to crew members V Evans, R Evans and the deputy launching authority J W Marr. Fisherman Brian Francis received the RNLI’s Thanks of the Institution Inscribed on Vellum and the Royal Humane Society’s bronze medal for his part in the rescue.
The D-class boat was replaced by a larger C-class boat from 1987. In 1998 a new double boathouse was opened, to house the station’s new B-class Atlantic 21 lifeboat, B-752 Tanni Grey, and its D-class boat, D-547 Society of Societies. The Atlantic 21 boat was named after Welsh Paralympic gold medallist Tanni Grey, now Baroness Grey-Thompson.
In December 2011 crew members Gemma and Sarah Griffiths and Louise Francis carried out Wales’ first all-female lifeboat mission. They set out in Tanni Grey to help a swimmer who had got into difficulties in the estuary.
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.
Postcode: SA43 3LN
FOOTNOTES: More Cardigan rescues