Fishguard lifeboat station

link_to_french_translationFishguard lifeboat station, North Breakwater, Fishguard Harbour

The first lifeboat station at Fishguard was established in 1822 and clocked up eight silver medals for gallantry between 1834 and 1855. These included two in 1847 for Martha and Margaret Llewellyn, the first women in Britain to receive a lifeboat award.

The RNLI took over the station in 1855 and built a boathouse at Goodwick beach. A second station was opened in 1869.

Coxswain James White was presented with three silver medals between 1873 and 1877, for his part in saving 80 lives from numerous vessels. On one day in 1882, 16 November, the lifeboat was dispatched to 15 different vessels and saved 46 lives.

In 1921 the RNLI gave a gold medal to coxswain John Howells, silver medals to Thomas O Davies, Robert E Simpson and Thomas Holmes, and bronze medals to the other nine crew for rescuing seven people from the wreck of the Dutch motor schooner Hermina at Needles Cliff. A storm had forced it to return to Fishguard on 3 December 1920. The lifeboat’s engine broke down during the rescue, and it took three hours to return the boat to shore by oar and sail power.

No.1 lifeboat station closed in 1907. The Great Western Railway built a slipway for a relocated boathouse in 1911. A new boathouse and slipway were provided in 1930.

Viewers of the BBC TV programme Blue Peter raised funds for a new Trent-class lifeboat, named Blue Peter VII, which entered service at Fishguard in 1994. An inshore lifeboat station, with D-class lifeboat, was added the following year. The current D-class boat, Team Effort, was placed on service in 2006.

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.

Where is this HiPoint?

Postcode: SA64 0BU

Other SHIPWRECK HiPoints in this region:
New Quay lifeboat – established after a spate of wrecks, including six in one night
Lifeboat memorial, St Davids – three lost in Ramsey Sound in 1910 after rescuing a ketch’s crew

RNLI website

RNLI on HistoryPoints.org

FOOTNOTES: More Fishguard rescues

1861 - Silver medals to David Beddoe and Albert Furlong for rescuing two men from a sloop.

1899 - Silver medal to coxswain James Thomas for his gallant lifesaving services.

1906 - Silver medal to James Thomas on his resignation as coxswain superintendent.

1984 - Framed letter of thanks to coxswain Francis George for rescuing three crew from the fishing vessel Oneida. He received the MBE from the Queen in 2003.

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