Penarth lifeboat station
The RNLI established a lifeboat at Penarth in 1861, operating from a purpose-built boathouse on the seafront. A new boathouse was provided in 1884, after The Esplanade was built in front of the original.
In 1896 the lifeboat rescued the crew of the German barque Guarany, which had twice set out along the Bristol Channel with a cargo of coal from Newport to Buenos Aires. On the second attempt, the vessel turned back at Lundy Island as a hurricane tore its sails to strips. As the barque was wrecked on Sully Island, the captain’s wife and baby were lowered down using ropes.
The station closed in 1905, with cover provided instead by lifeboats from Barry and Weston-super-Mare.
An inshore lifeboat station was opened at Penarth in 1980, with a D-class lifeboat, in response to continuing growth in boating and watersports. The boat was kept in a former shop and launched across the beach until the present boathouse and slipway opened in 1995. The new facility was equipped with a B-class lifeboat and launching vehicle, shop, workshop and better crew facilities.
In 1996 the Atlantic 75 lifeboat, B-725 Spirit of Penarth, arrived at the station. It was replaced in 2010 by the Atlantic 85, B839 Maureen Lilian, in 2010. The current inshore boat, D-692 Connie Dains, arrived in 2008.
In 2002 a Framed Letter of Thanks was presented to helmsman Simeon Rabaiotti for rescuing a man cut off by the tide. The inshore lifeboat was steered between rocks in rough seas, and its anchor had to be cut free to allow the boat to leave.
In 2012 crew member Aran Pitters and helmsman Jason Dunlop were presented with the Thanks of the Institution Inscribed on Vellum for their parts in rescuing a man from a stricken yacht off Lavernock Point on a stormy night. Eight fellow crew members, and a volunteer from Barry lifeboat, also received Letters of Thanks for this rescue.
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: CF64 3AU
Other SHIPWRECK HiPoints in this region:
Nash Point lighthouse – built after almost 80 passengers drowned in 1831 shipwreck
Merchant Navy memorial, Newport – war dead include man who survived 70 days adrift in ship’s lifeboat