Porthdinllaen lifeboat station


Porthdinllaen lifeboat station

The original lifeboat house and slipway at Porthdinllaen were constructed when the RNLI established a station here in 1864. The facilities were upgraded in 1888 and 1925, when the slipway was lengthened. The station received its first motor lifeboat in 1926. The current lifeboat, Tamar-class John D Spicer, arrived at the station in August 2012.

On 20 September 1974, coxswain Griffith J Jones was on leave when the lifeboat was called out to search for two people lost from a yacht’s tender in gale force winds. By sheer luck, a car turned by the shore and its headlights illuminated the water for just long enough for Griffith to notice a man clinging to a rock near the boathouse. He and his son Eric, aged 14, went out into the rough sea in the station’s boarding boat and rescued the man, a feat of courage which earned dad a Bronze Medal and his son an inscribed wristwatch.  

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.

About the place-name:

Porthdinllaen means “the harbour of Dinllaen”. Dynthlen, as it was written c.1300, was a commote whose name referred to a nearby hill fort (din). The second element of Dinllaen comes from the name of the Lageni tribe, written as Lhein c.1191. This also survives in the names of the Llŷn Peinsula and Leinster, Ireland.

With thanks to Prof Hywel Wyn Owen of the Welsh Place-Name Society for place-name information

FOOTNOTES: Other Porthdinllaen rescues

Postcode: LL53 6DB    View Location Map

RNLI on HistoryPoints.org

RNLI website


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