Mevagissey harbour  Visiting Cornwall Logo - background is part of Bodmin Moor as seen from Jamaica Inn at Altarnun. The road in the picture is the main A30 through Cornwall. Eden Project near St Austell 
 

HISTORY OF LIFEBOATS IN CORNWALL AND THE ISLES OF SCILLY

 
Back to Main Index  
  Back to Lifeboats  
  To Lighthouse Guide

 
This page contains a history of the lifeboats that have been stationed at lifeboat stations around the coast of Cornwall and on the Isles of Scilly.
They are ordered by Lifeboat Station in alphabetical order. Click on the station name below to jump to that section to see the lifeboats that have been stationed there. (Stations in italics are closed stations.)

Bude Cadgwith Coverack Falmouth Fowey Hayle
Looe Mevagissey Mullion Cove Newlyn Newquay Padstow
Penlee Penzance Polkerris Port Isaac Porthleven Porthoustock
Portloe Rock Sennen Cove St Agnes St Agnes, IoS St Ives
St Marys, IoS The Lizard  
 
 
 
Bude
Dates Class Official No Op No & Name
1817 to 1837 A "rescue boat"    
1837 to 1853 Rowing boat 24’ 9” long - 8 oars   Known as The Royal Bude Lifeboat
1853 to 1863 Rowing boat 27’ long - 8 oars    
1863 to 1886 Rowing boat 33’ long 10 oars   Elizabeth Moore Garden I
1886 to 1911 Rowing boat 34’ long 10 oars   Elizabeth Moore Garden II
1911 to 1923 Rowing boat 35’ long 10 oars   Elizabeth Moore Garden III
The Bude Lifeboat station was closed in 1923. The building is now holiday apartments.
Bude reopened as an inshore lifeboat station in a new building in May 1966.
1966 to 1987 D Class   Un-named
1987 to 1996 D Class   D-343
1996 to 2003 D Class   D-495 Elsie Frances II
2004 to 2013 D Class   D-617 Henry Philip
2013 to date D Class   D-756 George Bird
       

Back to Top

       
Cadgwith - a few miles east of The Lizard.
Replaced by The Lizard lifeboat station in 1963.
Dates Class Official No Op No & Name
1867 to 1887 33ft rowing   Western Commercial Traveller
June 1887 to 1898 37ft rowing   Joseph Armstrong
1898 to 1932 39ft rowing   Minnie Moon
The Minnie Moon holds the record for the greatest number of lives saved from one rescue: 227 lives were saved on the night of 17/18 March 1907 from the SS Suevic which was wrecked in fog and gales on the Stag Rocks on the Maenheere Reef, off Lizard Point.
1932 to 1941 37½ft rowing ON 664 Herbert Sturmey
1941 to 1963 35ft motorised   Guide of Dunkirk
The Guide of Dunkirk was one of the Dunkirk Little Ships. She was brand new and not named until after her return from France. Funded by the Girl Guides Association. After retirement from the RNLI she was renamed Girl Guide and is now on display at Mevagissey.
       

Back to Top

       
Coverack - at the most southerly point, Polpeor, until 1961.
Later replaced by The Lizard lifeboat station. The Coverack lifeboat station is now an excellent restaurant, that also has an evening takeaway fish and chip service, called "The Lifeboat House".
Dates Class Official No Op No & Name
1901 to 1934 Watson ON 458 Constance Melanie
1934 to 1954 Liverpool ON 771 The Three Sisters
1954 to 1972 Watson ON 907 William Taylor of Oldham
1972 to 1978 D Class    
       

Back to Top

       
Falmouth
Dates Class Official No Op No & Name
1866 to 1887 33ft S/R rowing ON 118 City of Gloucester
1887 to 1894 34ft S/R rowing   Jane Whittington
1894 to 1922 37ft S/R rowing ON 372 Bob Newbon
1922 to 1928 37ft S/R rowing ON 417 Jane Anne
1928 to 1931 37½ft S/R rowing ON 664 Herbert Sturmy
1931 to 1934 Watson ON 671 The Brothers
1934 to 1940 Watson ON 687 B.A.S.P.
B.A.S.P. is now preserved in the RNLI Historic Lifeboat Collection at the Historic Dockyard in Chatham, Kent. The name comes from the surnames of the four people who funded her: Blackburn, Armstrong, Smart and Price.
1940 to 1968 Watson ON 829 Crawford and Constance Coneybeare
Aug to Oct 1967 Hatch   18-01
1968 to 1974 Watson ON 928 Lilla Marras, Douglas and Will
1972 (on relief) Watson ON 828 The Princess Royal (CS No 7)
1974 to 1978 Thames ON 1031 50-001 Rotary Service
1978 to 1979 Waveney   44-001 The Yank
44-001 The Yank was the unofficial name of this lifeboat, which was acquired from the US Coast Guard in 1964 and used to develop the Waveney class lifeboats. She is now preserved in the RNLI Historic Lifeboat Collection at the Historic Dockyard in Chatham, Kent
Unknown McLachlan   A-503
1979 to 1997 Arun ON 1058 52-11 Elizabeth Ann
1980? to 1987 McLachlan A-508
1987 to 1988 Atlantic 21 B-518 Sole Bay
1988 to 1994 Atlantic 21 B-541 Elizabeth Bestwick
1994 to 2007 Atlantic 21   B-595 Falmouth Round Table
1997 to 2001 Severn ON 1201 17-02 The Will
Currently (September 2012) The Will is stationed at Dover.
1998 (on relief) Arun ON 1058 52-11 Elizabeth Ann
2001 (on relief) Arun ON 1058 52-11 Elizabeth Ann
2001 to date Severn ON 1256 17-29 Richard Cox Scott
2001 to date Y Class   Y-193 (on Richard Cox Scott)
June 2007 to date Atlantic 75   B-756 Eve Pank
?? to date Boarding Boat   BB-235
BB-235 is a wooden boarding boat used in the harbour with 17-29 Richard Cox Scott
       

Back to Top

       
Fowey
See also Polkerris for "Fowey" lifeboats stationed there before 1887.
Dates Class Official No Op No & Name
1887 to 1904 10-oared self-righter ON 136 Arthur Hill
1904 to 1922 10-oared Watson ON 515 James, William and Caroline Courtenay
1922 to 1926 12-oared self-righter ON 394 James, William and Caroline Courtenay
(Formerly Civil Service No 4)
1926 to 1928 12-oared Watson ON 505 William Roberts
1928 Watson ON 708 H.C.J.
1928 to 1954 Watson ON 712 C.D.E.C.
The C.D.E.C. was sold by the RNLI in 1959 and used for many years as a pilot boat off Southend Pier.
1947 (on relief) Watson ON 671 The Brothers
1954 to 1980 Watson ON 919 Denys Reitz
1980 to 1981 Watson ON 847 Gertrude
Gertrude was sold out of service and can be seen in use at Mevagissey
1981 to 1982 Watson ON 926 Guy and Clare Hunter
1982 Watson ON 866 Charles Henry Ashley
1982 to 1987 Brede ON 1083 33-03 Leonore Chilcott
1987 to 1996 Waveney ON 1028 44-010 Thomas Foreland and Mary Rowse II
44-010 Thomas Foreland and Mary Rowse II launched 169 times and saved 35 lives whilst at Fowey.
1996 to 1997 D Class   D-390 Tiger D
1996 to date Trent 1222 14-18 Maurice and Joyce Hardy
1997 D Class   D-433 Marjorie
1997 to 2008 D Class   D-526 Olive Herbert
2008 to date D Class   D-610 Olive Two
       

Back to Top

       
Hayle
Later replaced by St Ives lifeboat station.
Dates Class Official No Op No & Name
1866 to 1887 self-righting, 32 foot long boat pulling 10 oars   Isis
1887 to 1906 self-righting, 32 foot long boat pulling 10 oars   F H Harrison (originally named The New Oriental Bank)
1906 to 1907 self-righting, 36 foot long boat   Admiral Rodd
Hayle lifeboat station closed in 1907. The area now being covered by the St Ives lifeboat.
       

Back to Top

       
Looe
Dates Class Official No Op No & Name
Dec 1866 to Aug 1881 32½ft double-ended self-righting rowing   The Oxfordshire
Aug 1881 to May 1902 34½ft double-ended self-righting rowing   The Boys Own No 1
May 1902 to 1930     Ryder
Ryder is one of only three fully restored pulling and sailing lifeboats left in the country and can now be seen afloat in Polperro harbour near the Heritage Museum from May until September each year.

Looe lifeboat station was closed in July 1930 and did not reopen until 1991.
1992 to 1994 D Class    
1994 to 2002 D Class   Spirit of The Royal Ordnance Corps
2002 to 2010 D Class   D-574 Mary Regina
Oct 2003 to date Atlantic 75   B-793 Alan and Margaret
Dec 2010 to date D Class   D-741 Ollie Naismith
       

Back to Top

       
Mevagissey
Subsequently covered by the Fowey lifeboat station.
Dates Class Official No Op No & Name
1897 to 1930   ON 403 James Chisholm
The old lifeboat station is now in use as the Mevagissey Aquarium.

Back to Top

       
Mullion Cove
Later replaced by Newlyn and Penlee lifeboat stations.
Dates Class Official No Op No & Name
1867? to 1909?     Daniel J Draper
Mullion Cove lifeboat station closed in 1909. The area now being covered by the Newlyn lifeboat.
       

Back to Top

       
Newlyn
In 1913 the lifeboat station moved to Penlee. In 1983 the lifeboat station returned to Newlyn harbour but retained the name of Penlee.
Dates Class Official No Op No & Name
1908 to 1913 Watson ON 424 Elizabeth and Blanch
       

Back to Top

       
Newquay
Dates Class Official No Op No & Name
1860 to 1873     Joshua
Joshua renamed as James and Elizabeth in 1870.
1873 to 1892     James and Elizabeth II
James and Elizabeth II renamed as Pendock Neale in 1873.
1892 to 1919     Willie Rogers
1919 to 1920     John William Dudley
1920 to 1934     Admiral Sir George Back
Newquay lifeboat station closed in 1934 but reopened as a temporary wartime measure from 1940 to 1945.
An inshore lifeboat station was established at Newquay in June 1965 with a D class lifeboat.
Jun 1965 to Dec 1993 D Class   D-278
Dec 1993 to Feb 1995 C Class    
Feb 1995 to Sep 1995 Atlantic 21   B-539
Sep 1995 to Oct 2007 Atlantic 75   D-715
Apr 1996 to Feb 2005 D Class   D-497
Feb 2005 to date D Class   D-636 Valerie Wilson
Oct 2007 to date Atlantic 85   B-821 Gladys Mildred
       

Back to Top

       
Padstow
Dates Class Official No Op No & Name
1827 to 1856     Mariner’s Friend
Jul 1856 to 1864     Albert Edward
1864 to 1883     Albert Edward II
Aug 1883 to Apr 1900     Arab
Arab was wrecked on the Greenway Rocks on 11 April 1900.
Feb 1899 to 1900 Steam-powered   James Stevens No 4
Aug 1901 to 1931     Arab II
Sep 1901 to 1929     Edmund Harvey
Sep 1901 to 1929     Helen Peele
On 10 August 1917 the Admiralty commandeered Helen Peele for the duration of World War I.
Apr 1929 to 1952 Barnett   Princess Mary
Jun 1931 to 1938   743 John and Sarah Eliza Stych
1938 to 1939     Docea Chapman
1938 to 1947     J.H.W.
1947 to 1951     Stanhope Smart
Aug 1951 to 1962 Liverpool 894 Bassett Green
Nov 1952 to 1967     Joseph Hiram Chadwick
Oct 1967 to 1984 Oakley 989 48-02 James and Catherine Macfarlane
The James and Catherine Macfarlane is on display at Land's End.
1984 to 2006 Tyne 1094 47-003 James Burrough
2006 to date Tamar 1283 16-04 Spirit of Padstow
       
Buy a 10 x 8 Photographic Print of Lifeboats Helen Peele and Edmund Harvey at Padstow, Cornwall from Mary Evans
       

Back to Top

       
Penlee
Dates Class Official No Op No & Name
1913 to 1922 Watson ON 424 Elizabeth and Blanch
1922 to 1931 Watson ON 671 The Brothers
1930 to 1960 Watson ON 736 W & S
The W & S has been converted to a long distance cruiser.
1960 to Dec 1981 Watson ON 594 Solomon Browne
On 19 December 1981 the Solomon Browne was lost at sea with all hands off Boscawen Cove, near Lamorna, attempting to rescue the crew of the Union Star.
Read more about the disaster in "Penlee: The Loss of a Lifeboat" by Michael Sagar-Fenton
Dec 1981 to 1982 Watson ON 866 Charles Henry Ashley
1982 to 1983 Watson ON 926 Guy and Clare Hunter
1983 to 2003 Arun ON 1085 52-24 Mabel Alice
2001 to Sep 2002 Atlantic 75   B-753 City of Bradford V
2001 to Sep 2002 Atlantic 75   B-753 City of Bradford V
Sep 2002 to 2003 Arun ON 1086 52-25 A.J.R. & L.G. Uridge
Sep 2002 to date Atlantic 75   B-787 Paul Alexander
2003 to date Severn ON 1265 17-36 Ivan Ellen
       
Read "Cornish Shipwrecks" Including: HMS Colossus (1787), USS Jacob Jones, HMS Scylla, Penlee Lifeboat Disaster, Torrey Canyon and HMS Association.

Buy a Box Canvas Print of the Union Star Shipwreck from Mary Evans
       

Back to Top

       
Penzance
The lifeboats were located at various places in the Penzance area and in Newlyn. In 1913 the Penlee lifeboat station was built at Penlee Point and operated until 1983. The Penlee lifeboat is now moored in Newlyn harbour, but retains the Penlee name.
Dates Class Official No Op No & Name
1803 to 1812 North Country    
1826 to 1828      
1853 to 1860 Peake    
1865 to 1884 Peake   Richard Lewis
1884 to 1895 Peake ON 49 Dora
1899 to 1908 Watson ON 424 Elizabeth and Blanch
       

Back to Top

       
Polkerris
Replaced by the Fowey lifeboat station at Fowey.
During the 63 years of a lifeboat station at Polkerris it has been known as Polkerris, Fowey and Polkerris and Fowey.
Dates Class Official No Op No & Name
1859 to 1866 6 oared pulling lifeboat   Catherine Rashleigh
1866 to 1887     Rochdale and Catherine Rashleigh
When it closed as a lifeboat station the building became the Lifeboat Cafe. In 2009 it was turned into the restaurant, Sam's on the Beach. The owner is Sam Sixton, who is a volunteer on the Fowey lifeboat. Sam and his wife, Emma, have lovingly restored the boathouse and have honoured the exploits of the brave crews of the past by putting the original launch and rescue boards (dating back to 1859) on display.


Back to Top

       
Port Isaac
Dates Class Official No Op No & Name
1927 to 1933 Pulling & Sailing   Ernest Dresden
1997 to 1999 D Class   D-517
1999 to 2010 D Class   D-546 Spirit of the PCS RE II
2010 to date D Class   D-707 Copeland Bell

Back to Top

       
Porthleven
Replaced in 1929 by The Lizard and Penlee lifeboat stations.
Dates Class Official No Op No & Name
1863 to 1882 Six-oared 30 foot pulling lifeboat   Agar Robartes
1882 to 1900 Ten-oared 34 foot pulling lifeboat   Charles Henry Wright
1900 to 1926     John Francis Wright
1926 to 1929     Dash
The old lifeboat station, dating from 1894 and with the slipway removed and the front doorway filled in, is now in use as the Lifeboat Art Studio.


Back to Top

       
Porthoustock
Later replaced by The Lizard lifeboat station.
Dates Class Official No Op No & Name
1886 to 1900     Charlotte
1931 to 1946     Kate Walker
       

Back to Top

       
Portloe
The RNLI stationed a lifeboat at Portloe in 1870 but it was withdrawn in 1887 without ever having performed a rescue. The lifeboat was first kept in a boathouse built at the end of the road above the beach. As it proved difficult to move the boat across the beach for launching a new lifeboat house was built in 1877 nearer the water. The original boathouse was converted into a church and the later one became a school for a while but has has since become a private dwelling house.
       

Back to Top

       
Rock
Dates Class Official No Op No & Name
1995 to 2005 D Class   D-489
2005 to 2014 D Class   D-634 Rusper
2014 to date D Class   D-772 Rusper II
       

Back to Top

       
Sennen Cove
Dates Class Official No Op No & Name
1864 to 1880 33 ft self-righting   Cousins William and Mary Ann of Bideford
1880 to 1893 34 ft self-righting   Denzil and Maria Onslow
1893 to 1922 36 ft self-righting   Ann Newbon
1922 to 1948 Peake ON 674 The Newbons
1948 to 1973 Watson   Susan Ashley
Susan Ashley is now preserved in the RNLI Historic Lifeboat Collection at the Historic Dockyard in Chatham, Kent
1973 to 1991 Rother   Diana White
1991 to 1998 Mersey ON 1176 12-19 The Four Boys
1994 to 1996 D Class   D-450 Anthony
1996 to 2004 D Class   D-490 Spirit of the ACC
Mar 1998 to Oct 2009 Tyne ON 1121 47-016 Norman Salvesen
2010 to date Tamar ON 1294 16-14 City of London III
       
Read "Wreck and Rescue Round The Cornish Coast". The Story of the Land's End Lifeboats by Cyril Noall

Read "Sennen Cove and Its Lifeboat" by John Corin, Published by RNLI

Watch the DVD "Inshore Lifeboat" about the Sennen Cove D Class Lifeboat

Read "Sennen Cove Lifeboats: 150 Years of Lifesaving" by Nicholas Leach
       

Back to Top

       
St Agnes (Cornwall)
Dates Class Official No Op No & Name
1968 to 1976 D Class   Blue Peter IV
1976 to 1985 D Class   Blue Peter IV
1985 to 1994 D Class   Blue Peter IV
1994 to 2005 D Class   Blue Peter IV
2005 to date D Class   D-641 Blue Peter IV
There have been five D Class lifeboats at St Agnes since 1968. They have all been provided by the BBC Blue Peter appeals and have all been named Blue Peter IV.
       

Back to Top

       
St Agnes, Isles of Scilly
Now covered by St Marys, Isles of Scilly lifeboat station.
Dates Class Official No Op No & Name
1890 to 1904     James and Caroline
1904 to 1920     Charlie and Dure James
       

Back to Top

       
St Ives
Dates Class Official No Op No & Name
1840 to 1861 Adams   Hope
Circa 1866     Moses
1870 to 1878 10 oar pulling & sailing   Covent Garden
1899 to 1933 self-righting pulling ON 435 James Stevens No 10
The James Stevens No 10 has been restored and slightly modernised for use as a licensed trip boat. It was for sale in July 2013
1933 to 1938 self-righting ON 763 Caroline Parsons
1938 to 1939 self-righting ON 743 John and Sarah Eliza Stych
1940 to 1948 Liverpool ON 831 Caroline Oates Aver and William Maine
The Caroline Oates Aver and William Maine was transferred to Ferryside and worked until 1960.
1948 to 1968 Liverpool ON 861 Edgar George Orlando and Eva Child
The Edgar George Orlando and Eva Child was reported to be working as fishing boat, the Eileena-Ann (LT317,) at Kings Lynn in 2006.
1968 to 1989 Oakley ON 992 37-21 Frank Penfold Marshall
1968 to 1997 D Class   The Spirit of the Royal Corp of Transport
1989 to 1989 Oakley ON 984 37-17 Mary Joicey
in March 2011, the Mary Joicey was reported to be undergoing restoration to become the centrepiece of the museum at the Newbiggin Maritime Centre in Newbiggin-by-the-Sea (where it was first stationed).
1989 to 1990 Oakley ON 973 37-06 Fairlight
The Fairlight was reported to be working as a pleasure boat at Blakeney.
1997 to 2007 D Class   D-515 Spirit of the RTC
2007 to date D Class   D-668 Colin Bramley Parker
1990 to Nov 2015 Mersey ON 1167 12-009 The Princess Royal (C.S. No. 41)
Jun 2011 to Aug 2011
(on relief)
Mersey ON 1124 12-001 Peggy and Alex Card
Nov 2015 to date Shannon ON 1318 13-11 Nora Stachura
       

Back to Top

       
St Marys, Isles of Scilly
Dates Class Official No Op No & Name
1874 to 1919     Henry Dundas
1919 to 1930     Elsie
1930 to 1953     Cunard
1955 to 1981 Watson ON 926 Guy and Clare Hunter
1981 to 1997 Arun ON 1073 52-18 Robert Edgar
1997 to date Severn ON 1229 17-11 The Whiteheads
?? to date Boarding Boat   BB-234
The boarding boat is launched from the lifeboat slipway to reach the Severn class ALB, The Whiteheads, which is moored in St Marys harbour.
       

Back to Top

       
The Lizard
For lifeboats in this area before 1960 see Cadgwith, Coverack and Porthleven above.
Dates Class Official No Op No & Name
1960 to 1988 Barnett ON 952 Duke of Cornwall
Aug 1988 to Jul 2011 Tyne ON 1145 47-030 David Robinson
Jul 2011 to date Tamar ON 1300 16-20 Rose
       
Read "The Lizard Lifeboat Journal 2007" Published by the RNLI
       

Back to Top

 


Created and maintained by Amdow Web Design

Copyright 2000 - 2012 Amdow Web Design All rights reserved. Unauthorised use or copying is not permitted.   |   Commons Licence for reuse of certain images


Broken Links: Although we try to ensure that all the external links on our pages are current, there are times when a website will cease to exist or change it's name or the names of individual pages without our knowledge. If you come across any of these links that do not work, please let us know so that we can correct them.
Please email us with the details (web page URL and the broken link) at: