Port Talbot lifeboat station
The lifeboat station opened in 1966, with a D-class lifeboat kept in a boathouse at Aberavon Beach. In 1995 crew member Robert Vernon Harris received the Thanks of the Institution Inscribed on Vellum for his courage and initiative when he transferred from the lifeboat to a boat which was being towed to a mooring in the river Afan. Framed Letters of Thanks were awarded to crew members Leigh Worth and Stanley May.
In 1997 the station moved temporarily while the new boathouse was built, close to the coastguard station. This boathouse opened in 1998.
In 1999 the lifeboat went to the aid of a man who had fallen from the ore carrier Mineral Century. Despite a swell of three to five metres and rough seas, he was recovered and airlifted to hospital. For this rescue, helmsman Matthew Rossi and crew member Leon Murphy received Framed Letters of Thanks, while crew member David Jones received a director’s letter of thanks. The man had been found in sea by the pilot vessel Seamark, whose master received a letter of thanks from the RNLI’s chief of operations.
In 2006 helmsman David Jones and crew member Christopher Thomas received the Thanks of the Institution Inscribed on Vellum, while crew member Rachel Thomas received a Framed Letter of Thanks, for saving the life of a man who was thrown overboard from a small motorboat in strong winds and swell of three metres.
In 2009 the station’s new D-class lifeboat, D-713, was named Nigel Martin Spender after a local RNLI volunteer who died aged 33 in 1999.
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: SA12 6QW