Burry Port lifeboat station


Burry Port lifeboat station

The RNLI opened its lifeboat station on this site in 1887 and provided a 12-oar lifeboat which was 11 metres long. Launching the lifeboat and removing it from the water was easier here than at the sites of the two earlier lifeboat stations. The cost of setting up the station was covered by the legacy of Mrs JS Barclay, of Edmonton. The first boat at the new station was named David Barclay of Tottenham after her late husband.

burry_port_old_lifeboat_stationAt this time the local dock was busy with ships carrying away coal from mines in the Gwendraeth Valley. The area’s first lifeboat (based at Pembrey) was named City of Bath, and was a gift from the citizens of Bath in 1863. The second lifeboat was given by Stanton Meyrick, of Pimlico, London, and bore his name.

In 1914 the RNLI withdrew the all-weather lifeboat, because neighbouring stations provided enough cover. The upper photo (courtesy of the RNLI) shows the lifeboat station in the post-war decades. The disused launching track in the foreground led towards the end of the pier on this side of the outer harbour. In the upper right corner are the Pembrey Copper Works. The web of railways in this vicinity included the track visible on the right, which passed the lifeboat station to reach the pier end.

burry_port_inshore)lifeboat_kip_and_kathThe station reopened in 1973, with a D-class inshore lifeboat. The boathouse was upgraded in 1994, with improved facilities for the crew and a new boat, named Kip and Kath, shown in the lower photo c.1995 (courtesy of the RNLI). In 2002 the RNLI considered whether a hovercraft lifeboat might be needed at Burry Port in the future. The BBC children’s programme Blue Peter donated a B-class lifeboat in 2010.

A new lifeboat station, near the old one, was opened in September 2019. If you would like to arrange a visit, please contact Alun Wells on 07717 881650.

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: SA16 0ER    View Location Map

Website of Burry Port RNLI

RNLI on HistoryPoints.org

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