RNLI Exmouth Lifeboat Station is awaiting an exciting event as this entry is being written.
RNLI Exmouth Lifeboat Station has served this coast for more than 200 years.
In 2008 the Trent ALB was replaced by the Mersey ALB, a new station was completed in 2009 and a Talus MBH launching system delivered to operate from the new slipway, or over the beach. The two lifeboats on-station today include a Mersey Class All-weather LifeBoat, “Margaret Jean” No. 12-21 and an In-shore LifeBoat “George Bearman”. The Mersey Class is due to be replaced by the first Shannon Class All-weather LifeBoat to be issued. This new boat has been funded by a generous legacy and Exmouth Lifeboat Station began a fund raising campaign in October 2012 to pay for the launching system that is designed specifically for the Shannon Class.
The “trials” Shannon and the new launching system arrived at Exmouth during 2012 as part of the extensive trials programme ahead of introduction to service at Exmouth.
The new ALB will significantly increase the capability at Exmouth in three ways.
1. The Shannon is propelled by water jets, enabling it to operate in very shallow water and it is capable at speed of “jumping” small sandbanks and beaching rapidly above the surf line.
2. The Shannon is capable of 25 knots. The RNLI has set itself the target of re-eqipping all Lifeboat stations with lifeboats capable of 25 knots+, a 50% increase over the Mersey Class.
3. The Shannon is able to launch in very bad conditions over the beach, from a slipway, or to be based afloat. At Exmouth, the Shannon will launch from the new lifeboat station which opened in 2009 at Maer Rocks. This station has a gentle slipway, a ramp designed for the Shannon beach-launcing trailer and launching vehicle, allowing the new lifeboat to be launched from the beach launching system. To assist in bad weather operation the Shannon includes shock-absorbing seats and an advanced navcom system.
“SAR Spotlight On: Issue Three, RNLI, Beach-launched ALBs” is available as a free download DOWNLOAD This issue of the free download SAR eMagazine covers the Mersey ALB, the new Shannon ALB, and three RNLI Lifeboat Stations, Including Exmouth, that beach-launch their ALBs. The eMagazine does not publish at fixed dates and is produced by the FIRE Project editorial team and published by the FIRE Project publishing house Nighthawk Publishing.
Exmouth Lifeboat Station is happy to give short guided tours around the lifeboat station. If you wish to arrange a group visit please download the Station Visit Form http://www.exmouth-lifeboat.org.uk/documents/visit_form.doc, complete it and return it to Caz Ashman. My email address is on the form.
Please note they have a high demand for visits especially in the summer months so please don’t be too disappointed if they cannot accommodate every request.
Thank you for your interest in the RNLI
Lifeboats Visits’ Officer
Kevin Riley, Lifeboat Operations Manager
All media enquiries to: Emma Tarling, Voluntary Press Officer
Email: email@example.com Mobile: 07837 810082
Would you like to volunteer for the Lifeboat Guild?
You can check the website of the Exmouth Council for Volunteering Services for vacancies
Lifeboat Souvenir Shop: 01395 274890
The postal address is: RNLI Exmouth Lifeboat Station Queens Drive Exmouth Devon EX8 2AY
History of Exmouth Lifeboat Station
Exmouth lifeboat station was first established in 1803 with its first lifeboat being built by Greathead. Apparently the station ceased to exist for some years until it was re-established by the Institution in 1858.
Six RNLI medals for gallantry have been awarded, five Silver and one Bronze the last being voted in 1954.
History 1803 – 2013
1803 The first lifeboat was built by Greathead. Apparently the station ceased to exist for some years until it was re-established by the Institution in 1858.
1831 Silver Medal awarded to Coastguard Chief Officer, Lt John Sargeant, R.N. for the rescue by means of ropes, of the crew of seven from the brig Unity, on 6 December 1930.
Silver Medal awarded to local pilot, Thomas Pincombe, Jnr, for an attempt to rescue the crew of the schooner Mary.
1859 The RNLI established a new lifeboat house for Peake-type lifeboat Victoria. Entire cost met by Lady Rolle of Bicton.
Victoria in the Boathouse
1867 Brigantine Julia wrecked on Pole Sands. This unsuccessful service and subsequent capsize led to the stationing of a larger lifeboat, also named Victoria.
1882 On 1 November the lifeboat was launched on service to schooner Lady Elizabeth but as unable to find her. The crew then tried to beach but just before dusk in a strong gale and heavy rain the boat was struck by an unusually heavy sea and capsized. Fortunately all the crew regained the boat. They then made for the station which they reached after 5 ½ hours of severe toil at rowing.
1884 34ft 10-oared lifeboat Joseph Somes on station. Gas service provided to lifeboat house.
1894 Silver Medals awarded to John Bradford, Uriah Bradford and George Prowse, for gallantly launching a small boat, and at considerable risk, rescuing the crew of six from the schooner John Gronsund of Svendborg, which had been driven on the Pole Sands in a strong south easterly gale and a very heavy sea on 4 January.
1903 New lifeboat house constructed on site of existing one at a cost of £700, to accommodate larger lifeboat, also named Joseph Somes.
1905 Signalman F.H. Horne fired the signals for an exercise on 9 August and went home. He was however found dead later from a heart attack amongst trees near the lifeboat house. Committee of Management voted £15 to local fund.
1907 Whilst lifeboat was being launched for exercise on 14 March, Coxswain Henry Squire, who was assisting, collapsed and died. Committee of Management voted £150 to dependants.
1907 Schooner Tehwija of Riga wrecked on Exmouth Bar. Exmouth and Teignmouth lifeboats assisted.
1916 The lifeboat was launched on service on 5 November during a whole south east gale and very heavy sea to the French tug St Paul. The crew was comprised of older men and the Committee of Management granted them an additional award and sent them a special letter of thanks.
1930 Centenary Vellum awarded to the station.
1933 Motor-lifeboat Catherine Harriet Eaton on station.
Catherine Harriet Eaton
1938 Thanks on Vellum awarded to Coxswain Thomas Horne for a service in heavy seas.
1948 A Clayton launching tractor is provided.
1952 Signalman Samuel Gifford was fatally injured en route to a launch, later suffering a stroke; he died on 25th December 1953.
1953 Liverpool-class lifeboat Maria Noble on station.
150th Year Commemorative Vellum awarded to the Station.
1954 Bronze Medal awarded to Coxswain Harold Bradford for the rescue of five crew from the cabin cruiser ‘Nicky’.
1956 On Christmas Day afternoon the lifeboat was launched to assist Dutch motor vessel Minerva. Second Coxswain Jack Phillips and Will Carder were both washed overboard from the lifeboat. Both were found, sadly Will Carder could not be revived. Following this tragedy Trinity House asked those members of the lifeboat crew who were members of the Pilot staff to resign from the lifeboat and Coxswain Harold Bradford, 2nd Coxswain Jack Phillips and Cecil Hockings left the service.
Carriage launched lifeboat replaced by afloat Watson-class George and Sarah Strachan moored in Exe estuary, with temporary dockside facilities.
1963 Watson-class lifeboat Michael Stephens on station.
1968 Watson-class lifeboat Gertrude on station.
1966 First D-class inshore lifeboat stationed at Exmouth, in the old seafront building (summer season only).
The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum were accorded to Coxswain Brian Rowsell and crew member Peter Rowsell in recognition of their service in the inflatable lifeboat on 29 May when three bathers were rescued in a heavy sea two miles south west of Exmouth.
1970 ‘City of Birmingham Lifeboat Appeal’ raises £42,000 towards the cost of a new Solent-class lifeboat, City of Birmingham.
1981 Framed letter of appreciation signed by the Chairman of the Institution, The Duke of Atholl, awarded to Coxswain Brian Rowsell in recognition of the service carried out by him in the station’s boarding boat on 19 December, when the crew of two of the yacht Michelle were rescued. This service was performed in very difficult conditions with a strong south south easterly gale and very rough, short seas. Leaving and entering the dock entrance were hazardous operations. Mr Mike Clifton, a former crew member of the inflatable lifeboat who accompanied Coxswain Rowsell, was sent a letter of appreciation signed by the Director, Rear Admiral W. J. Graham.
1982 D-class lifeboat permanently placed on station.
1983 33ft Brede-class lifeboat Caroline Finch on station.
1985 Thanks on Vellum and Service of Merit Badge awarded to crewman Geoffrey Ingram in recognition of his meritorious action on 7 April when he entered the sea from the lifeboat Caroline Finch to give support to two girls who were in considerable difficulty after a speedboat sank one and a half miles east by south of Exmouth.
1994 44ft Waveney-class lifeboat Louis Marchesi of Round Table on station. Refurbishment of the crewroom and repairs to tractor house.
1996 Trent-class lifeboat Forward Birmingham on station.
2002 Dockside building demolished and replaced by two port-a-cabins in a nearby carpark.
2007 ‘Exmouth Lifeboat Station Appeal Fund’ is launched to raise £2m. New station designed to house both the IB1 inshore and carriage-launched Mersey-class lifeboats.New Station
2008 Tidally restricted Trent-class lifeboat replaced by Mersey-class Margaret Jean, lying afloat.
2009 The ‘Exmouth Lifeboat Station Appeal Fund’ reaches its £2m target.
2009 Talus MBH tractor and launching carriage delivered to Exmouth 14 April.
2009 The Lifeboat Station at Maer Rocks is
completed, becoming operational on 20 November.