Rhyl lifeboat station

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Rhyl lifeboat station, Marine Parade

Rhyl’s first lifeboat was established in 1852 by the Shipwrecked Fishermen and Mariners’ Society. The boat could launch to the sea or the river Clwyd via doors at end of the boathouse. A year later, the lifeboat capsized with the loss of six crew, commemorated by a memorial on Rhyl promenade.

The RNLI took over in 1854 and supplied a tubular, double-hulled lifeboat in 1856. As Rhyl’s tourism trade boomed, a second lifeboat station was established in 1878 with a self-righting lifeboat. This station operated until 1899, two years after a new main boathouse was built.

Rhyl made history in 1962 with the first ever rescue by a lifeboat of people from a hovercraft. The lifeboat removed three crew, minutes before the kerosene-laden hovercraft crashed into the promenade. For this rescue the RNLI gave a Silver Medal to coxswain H Campini, Thanks of the Institution Inscribed on Vellum to each of the seven crew and head launcher Dennis Jones, Framed Letters of Thanks to the nine shore helpers, a collective Vellum for the boathouse, and a special Letter of Appreciation was sent to the Honorary Secretary.

In 1967 an inshore lifeboat station was set up at Rhyl with a D Class lifeboat. The Mersey class lifeboat Lil Cunningham has been in service at Rhyl since 1992. The present boathouse was opened in 2002 by the Duke of Kent, the RNLI’s President. Rhyl's current D Class lifeboat, Godfrey and Desmond Nall, entered service in 2004.

In 2008 Jean Frost, manageress of the Rhyl lifeboat souvenir shop, received an MBE (Member, Order of the British Empire) for services to maritime safety. Two years later the Queen honoured crew member Paul Frost in her birthday list by awarding him an MBE.

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 Rhyl rescues

Where is this HiPoint?

Postcode: LL18 3YP

RNLI on HistoryPoints.org

RNLI website

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