Lifeboat and rescue stations

I only started this collection in December 2023, so I’ve been trawling back through my photographs. Since I wasn’t really looking out for the lifeboat stations at the time, I didn’t have pictures of all of them all, and some are pretty rubbish pictures too. Oh well, after Kippford they should improve as I notice them more!

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is the largest charity that saves lives at sea around the coasts of the British Isles, as well as on some inland waterways. It is a charity in the UK and in the Republic of Ireland and has enjoyed royal patronage since its foundation. It is a unique organisation as it operates in the Republic of Ireland as well as the UK, particularly surprising given the “Royal” bit of its name. A map of all the RNLI stations can be found here.

There are also many independent search and rescue organisations, often set up by local people after disasters in their community, and often resurrecting closed RNLI stations, I’ve included them too.

There are several different classes of RNLI boats, click on the pictures for the Wikipedia page for each.

Here are all the stations I’ve passed so far, in order. Click on the pic to go to that blog.

Southport Offshore Rescue

Southport Offshore Rescue is an independent trust. The station was run by the RNLI from 1860 until 1925 when it closed, and was then re-established in 1988 after some local men lost their lives, and bereaved relatives started a campaign to bring a lifeboat back to Southport. In addition to a couple of lifeboats, they have “mud rescue equipment”, which by the looks of it will be useful on Southport north beach.

I didn’t notice this station because I was walking along the beach, below the sea defences, so never got sight of it.

Lytham St Annes RNLI

The old lifeboat station in Lytham is next to the windmill on the shore, and was famous for their role in the Mexico Disaster of 9 December 1886, when 27 lifeboat men lost their lives.

This new station was built in 2004 and houses two Shannon D-class boats called “Barbara Anne (ON 1331), and Moam (D-800).

Blackpool RNLI

I seem to have missed this as I strolled past. Perhaps I was down on the shore, or just daydreaming, so I borrowed the picture from Wikipedia. It houses an Atlantic 85 B Class boat called William and Eleanor (B-867), and two D class boats called Basil Eric Brooks (D-732) and Eileen Mary George (D-729).

Fleetwood RNLI

I took this picture from Knott End looking back over the river Wyre to the ferry, and just happened to get a reasonable picture of the lifeboat station. It houses a Shannon class boat called Kenneth James Pierpoint (ON 1156), and the D class Mary Elizabeth Barnes (D-719).

Kenneth Pierpoint was a local young Pilot Officer with 605 Squadron, who lost his life in a flying accident in 1942, and is buried at Knott End.

Morecambe RNLI

The Morecambe lifeboat station is next to the stone jetty, so I could hardly miss it, but from the photograph it appears I almost did. It houses the H class boat The Hurley Flyer (H-002), and a D class Margaret Mary Timpany (D-722).

The H class is a hovercraft designed for places large flat sandy bays like Morecambe Bay, where it can be too shallow for normal boats.

Bay Search and Rescue

Bay Search and Rescue is an independent lifeboat organisation operating from just south of Cark in Cumbria, and serving the whole of Morecambe Bay. They have an eclectic range of weird vehicles and equipment for saving people from the dangerous sands of the bay.

Barrow RNLI

I walked to the end of the shittiest island to get to this impressive structure. Roa Island is somewhere you wouldn’t want to visit, unless you want to get to Piel Island, or see the lifeboat station. It houses the Tamar class Grace Dixon (ON 1288) and the D-class Vision of Tamworth (D-733). Tamworth isn’t visible from Roa Island, but Grace Dixon might be if she is unfortunate enough to be visiting.

Ulverston Inshore Rescue

I passed this gate, but never noticed it at the time, being more interested in the big pharmaceutical factory opposite.

Ulverston Inshore Rescue was set up by two local men after many tragedies on the dangerous Sands of Morecambe Bay. Starting with basic equipment and limited crew, they now have 14 volunteers and specialist rescue kit.

Duddon Inshore Rescue

Duddon Inshore Rescue, based in Askam-in-Furness is an independent organisation which was formed by a group of volunteers in 1969 after a number of deaths in the River Duddon Estuary highlighted the need for a water and sand-based search and rescue team.

Haverigg Inshore Rescue

Haverigg Inshore Rescue Team was formed in 1973 following the drowning of a local boy in a boating accident.

The station is just a dot in the middle of this picture!

St Bees RNLI

I walked past this converted pre-fab garage without noticing it was a lifeboat station, but still took its photgraph for some reason. It houses an Atlantic 85 class boat called Joy Morris MBE (B-831).

Workington RNLI

Workington lifeboat station is a big green shed out on the docks. I didn’t notice this one either. It houses a Shannon D-class boat called Dorothy May White (ON 1326), and the D class John F. Mortimer (D-767).

Maryport Inshore Rescue

I didn’t actually pass next to Maryport Inshore Rescue, as it’s on a part of the docks that I seemed to have skipped for some reason, only coming within 400 yards of it.

It was operated by the RNLI from 1865 until it closed in 1949, and was then re-established in 1978 as an independent organisation by six local men, in response to an accident at sea which cost the lives of three members of the town’s community.

Silloth RNLI

I missed the lifeboat station in Silloth because I chose to walk through the pretty town rather than along the shoreline, so had to borrow this photo. It houses the Atlantic 85 class Elaine and Don Wilkinson (B-828).

Nith Inshore Rescue

Nith Inshore Rescue, began in the winter of 1981/82. A man was trapped alone on a sandbank in the River Nith just to the south of Glencaple near Dumfries. The tide was rising fast around him and local people could only watch in horror as a tragedy unfolded before their eyes. They looked on helplessly as the man shouted for help, but inevitably the rising water overcame him and the Nith claimed yet another life. Local people took matters into their own hands and decided the Glencaple area needed its own rescue boat, to be based in the village. And so Nith Inshore Rescue was born.

Kippford RNLI

I walked straight past Kippford lifeboat station because it looks like a B&B, and it didn’t have the flag flying on the day, so borrowed this picture too, since mine is really rubbish. It supposedly houses a D-class boat called Catherine (D-718), but I don’t know where it’s hidden since there doesn’t seem to be any space for it. Maybe it’s upstairs in bed.