New Quay lifeboat station

link_to_french_translationNew Quay lifeboat station

This lifeboat station, which cost £130 to build, opened in 1864. In the previous decade there had been a spate of at least 10 wrecks. Six vessels were lost off New Quay in a single night in 1859, during the storm which also sank the Royal Charter at Anglesey with the loss of more than 400 lives.

In 1903 a new boathouse and slipway were built on a new site, at a cost of £1,235. The old lifeboat house was handed to the Harbour Commissioners and today houses public toilets.

In 1948 the lifeboat William Cantrell Ashley retired after 41 years of service, the RNLI’s last sailing lifeboat. That year the station was adapted for a new lifeboat and a tractor house was built.

In 1966 bronze medals were awarded to coxswain David Winston Evans, motor mechanic Evan Fowler and crew member David Rees after going to the aid of three boys, cut off by the tide at Gilfach-yr-Halen. The lifeboat’s searchlight picked out a boy stranded on a ledge. Sydney Fowler and David Rees swam through rough sea to rescue the boy by breeches buoy. Another boy was rescued but died later. The crew also recovered the third boy’s body.

In 1967 the all-weather boat was supplemented by an inshore lifeboat station, with a D-class lifeboat.

A new boathouse was completed, on the previous boathouse’s site, in 1992 for the new Mersey-class lifeboat and D-class lifeboat, providing improved facilities. The new boat, ON-1172 Frank and Lena Clifford of Stourbridge, replaced the Oakley-class lifeboat Bird’s Eye, now on public display at Moelfre, Anglesey.

In September 2012 the station received a new D-class lifeboat, D-754 Audrey LJ. It is named after Audrey Lawson-Johnston, who had paid for an earlier New Quay lifeboat. She died in January 2011, the last survivor of the sinking of RMS Lusitania in 1915.

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: SA45 9PS View Location Map

Other SHIPWRECK HiPoints in this region:
King Charles the Third – ran aground near Llanon in 1706 with a cargo of citrus fruit and wine
Llangrannog - publican’s ship wrecked in 1895. Norwegian sailor’s body brought ashore after 1917 U-boat attack

RNLI website


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FOOTNOTES: More New Quay rescues
  • 1967 - Thanks of the Institution Inscribed on Vellum to Idris Evans, Trevor Evans and Peter Evans for rescuing one bather, and landing the body of another, in a gale and rough sea.
  • 1974 - Bronze medal to helmsman Mervyn Lloyd Thomas and Thanks of the Institution Inscribed on Vellum to crew members Richard Llewellyn Davies and David Richard Phillips for rescuing one person from the rocks near Cwmtydu.
  • 1976 - Thanks of the Institution Inscribed on Vellum to helmsman Mervyn Lloyd Thomas after rescuing two people from a yacht.