Cardigan lifeboat station

button-theme-womenlink_to_french_translationCardigan lifeboat station

Cardigan’s first lifeboat station opened in 1849 on the south side of the river Teifi, below Penrhyn Castle. The RNLI took over the station the following year. In 1919 coxswain Thomas Bowen received a bronze medal for the rescue of 10 crew members from a steamer which got into trouble in heavy seas, snow and a gale.

In 1932 the lifeboat station closed, following a decline in commercial shipping. A new inshore lifeboat station, at Poppit Sands, was opened in 1971 in response to the growth in leisure activities. It was equipped with a D-class lifeboat. Just a year later, the crew received their first bravery awards for the rescue of four people from a boat capsized on Cardigan Bar. Framed Letters of Thanks were sent to crew members V Evans, R Evans and the deputy launching authority J W Marr. Fisherman Brian Francis received the RNLI’s Thanks of the Institution Inscribed on Vellum and the Royal Humane Society’s bronze medal for his part in the rescue.

See the Footnotes below for details of other bravery awards.

In 1998 a new double boathouse was opened, to house a B-class Atlantic 21 lifeboat and a D-class boat.

In December 2011 crew members Gemma and Sarah Griffiths and Louise Francis carried out Wales’ first all-female lifeboat mission. They set out in the station’s B-Class boat, Tanni Grey, to help a swimmer who had got into difficulties in the estuary. Gemma, who was at the helm, was a classroom assistant. Her sister Sarah was on leave from the Royal Navy to attend a wedding. They and Louise, a shop worker, formed the crew not by design but because they were the first to respond to the emergency call on the day.

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: SA43 3LN    View Location Map

RNLI website


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: More Cardigan rescues

1873 - Silver medal to coastguard Richard Jinks for saving two sailors from a smack on Cardigan Bar
1888 - Silver medal to coxswain William Niles for long service
1901 - Silver medal to coxswain David Rees on his retirement
1979 - Thanks of the Institution Inscribed on Vellum to helmsman Vernon Evans for saving a yacht and its four crew in Cardigan Bay
1980 - Bronze medal to helmsman Robert Reynolds and Thanks of the Institution Inscribed on Vellum to crew members Vernon Evans and Charles Sharp for saving four people and a dog from a motor cruiser, in waves of about five metres
1997 - Thanks of the Institution Inscribed on Vellum to crew members Jeremy Thomas and Leonard Walters and to Aberporth lifeguard Simon Jury, for the rescue of three people cut off by the tide near Penbryn Beach
2005 - Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum to helmsman Dyfrig Brown for his part in rescuing three men cut off by the tide at Fathganeg Rock. The rescue took place in heavy seas and near a dangerous pinnacle of rock