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Appledore Lifeboat Station

Appledore Lifeboat Station

Situated on the north Devon coast, Appledore Lifeboat Station operates an all-weather Tamar class lifeboat and an inshore B class Atlantic 75 lifeboat. During its 180-year history the crews have been presented with 31 awards for gallantry.

This station is classed as a Discover station. ​Our crews from Discover stations are equally welcoming to visitors but many of these stations were built before visitors were considered. These stations normally open their boathouse doors during the summer months. 

Visit the station website

Recent launches from this station

Date Time
12/07/2014 16:01
12/07/2014 14:34
05/07/2014 19:00
05/07/2014 13:51
05/07/2014 13:48
04/07/2014 12:22
28/06/2014 17:16
28/06/2014 15:58
28/06/2014 15:57
21/06/2014 08:50

Latest news from this station

See more news for Appledore Lifeboat Station

Station location

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Forecasts for Appledore Lifeboat Station

Station address

Appledore Lifeboat Station
Jubilee Road
Appledore
Devon
EX39 1SA

Station telephone

01237 473969

Station opening times

9am-4pm daily

Visitor contact

Coxswain

Visitor contact telephone

01237 474006

Shop opening times

March–October
Monday–Sunday
2pm–4pm

November–December
Saturday–Sunday
2pm–4pm

Appledore ILB crew members. Left to right, Martin Davis, Gary Stanbury and Andrew HalletSpecific crew member details for this lifeboat station are not available here at the moment.

More than 4,800 lifeboat crew members around the UK and RoI drop everything when their pagers go off, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Only 1 in 10 crew members has a professional maritime occupation. Men and women of all ages and all walks of life crew the RNLI lifeboats around our coasts and waterways.

  • The late Bill Gibson, President at Appledore RNLI

    The latae Bill Gibson

  • Screen grab from video shot during search for surfer believed to be missing in thick fog.

    Screen grab of inshore lifeboat in fog

  • Swanages's current Mersey class lifeboat and the RNLI's new Shannon class lifeboat of which Swanage is to receive in 2015

    Swanage's Mersey class RNLI lifeboat and new Shannon class

  • Weston super Mare and Portishead RNLI lifeguards at launch of Bristol Channel Appeal

    Weston super Mare and Portishead lifeboats

  • The Lizard Tamar lifeboat Rose launching

    The Lizard all weather lifeboat launching

  • Mick French fundraiser who turns on Christmas lights for RNLI

    Mick French who turns on Xmas lights for RNLI

  • Swimmers at Looe braved the cold waters on New Years Day 2013 to raise funds for RNLI

    Swimmers braving the cold water at Looe on New Years Day

  • Nicky Hodge Jess Gierke and Damson the dog run the sixteen and a half mile RNLI sponsored walk in just over four hours

    Running the RNLI walk

  • Plymouth RNLI assist dismasted yacht August 2013

    Plymouth RNLI assist dismasted yacht

  • Screen grab from footage of RNLI rescuing three exhausted swimmers at Mawgan Porth August 2013

    RNLI lifeguards rescue three exhausted swimmers at Mawgan Porth

  • RNLI volunteers are always ready to help save lives at sea.

    RNLI volunteers are always on hand

  • Library shot of the Appledore RNLI inshore lifeboat Glanely at sea.

    Library picture of Appledore RNLI inshore lifeboat

  • Locals support Appledore RNLI

    Locals support Appledore RNLI

  •  RNLI Appledore crews and search and rescue dogs train together

    RNLI Appledore crews and search and rescue dogs train together

  • Beach safety messages getting through but rescues remain high in the south west as charity reveals s

    Beach safety messages getting through but rescues remain high in the south west as charity reveals s

  • Busy times for Appledore RNLI

    Busy times for Appledore RNLI

  • Three callouts at midsummer weekend for Appledore RNLI

    Three callouts at midsummer weekend for Appledore RNLI

  • Busy 24 hours for Appledore RNLI’s Volunteer crews

    Busy 24 hours for Appledore RNLI’s Volunteer crews

  • Ilfracombe and Appledore RNLI Lifeboats launch to assist 60ft trawler

    Ilfracombe and Appledore RNLI Lifeboats launch to assist 60ft trawler

  • A marathon start for the new Appledore RNLI appeal

    A marathon start for the new Appledore RNLI appeal

  • Barry bows out after 20 years service with the RNLI in the south west

    Barry bows out after 20 years service with the RNLI in the south west-2

  • Barry bows out after 20 years service with the RNLI in the south west

    Barry bows out after 20 years service with the RNLI in the south west-1

  • Barry bows out after 20 years service with the RNLI in the south west

    Barry bows out after 20 years service with the RNLI in the south west

  • Appledore RNLI to receive revolutionary new Tamar class all-weather lifeboat

    Appledore RNLI to receive revolutionary new Tamar class all-weather lifeboat-1

  • Appledore RNLI to receive revolutionary new Tamar class all-weather lifeboat

    Appledore RNLI to receive revolutionary new Tamar class all-weather lifeboat-2

  • Appledore RNLI to receive revolutionary new Tamar class all-weather lifeboat

    Appledore RNLI to receive revolutionary new Tamar class all-weather lifeboat

  • On call over Christmas for the south west’s RNLI volunteers

    On call over Christmas for the south west’s RNLI volunteers-5

  • On call over Christmas for the south west’s RNLI volunteers

    On call over Christmas for the south west’s RNLI volunteers-4

  • On call over Christmas for the south west’s RNLI volunteers

    On call over Christmas for the south west’s RNLI volunteers-3

  • On call over Christmas for the south west’s RNLI volunteers

    On call over Christmas for the south west’s RNLI volunteers-1

  • On call over Christmas for the south west’s RNLI volunteers

    On call over Christmas for the south west’s RNLI volunteers-2

  • On call over Christmas for the south west’s RNLI volunteers

    On call over Christmas for the south west’s RNLI volunteers

  • RNLI figures highlight another busy summer for the south west

    RNLI figures highlight another busy summer for the south west

  • Huge crowds gather to witness the naming of Appledore RNLI’s Mollie Hunt

    Huge crowds gather to witness the naming of Appledore RNLI’s Mollie Hunt

  • Wet weather reflected in south west RNLI figures for 2012

    South West Flood Rescue Team train in Hayle

  • Wet weather reflected in south west RNLI figures for 2012

    South West Flood Rescue Team in training

  • Wet weather reflected in south west RNLI figures for 2012

    South West Flood Rescue Team training

  • Knitters unite to create sensational underwater sea experience that will benefit the RNLI

    Knitters unite to create sensational underwater sea experience that will benefit the RNLI

  • RNLI award for outstanding charity photographer

    RNLI award for outstanding charity photographer-3

  • RNLI award for outstanding charity photographer

    RNLI award for outstanding charity photographer-2

  • RNLI award for outstanding charity photographer

    RNLI award for outstanding charity photographer-1

  • RNLI award for outstanding charity photographer

    RNLI award for outstanding charity photographer

  • Appledore RNLI tackle dense fog to assist broken down fishing boat

    Appledore RNLI tackle dense fog to assist broken down fishing boat

  • Appledore is the Bristol Channel’s busiest RNLI lifeboat station

    Appledore is the Bristol Channel’s busiest RNLI lifeboat station

  • First official launch for Appledore RNLI’s new lifeboat

    First official launch for Appledore RNLI’s new lifeboat

  • Stay safe with the RNLI in the south west this Easter

    Stay safe with the RNLI in the south west this Easter

  • Appledore RNLI’s Molly Hunt arrives home

    Appledore RNLI’s Molly Hunt arrives home

  • Appledore's new lifeboat can’t wait to help

    Appledore's new lifeboat can’t wait to help-2

  • Appledore's new lifeboat can’t wait to help

    Appledore's new lifeboat can’t wait to help-1

  • Appledore's new lifeboat can’t wait to help

    Appledore's new lifeboat can’t wait to help-3

  • Appledore's new lifeboat can’t wait to help

    Appledore's new lifeboat can’t wait to help

  • Appledore RNLI in mourning

    Appledore RNLI in mourning

  • Year starts with a bang for Appledore RNLI

    Year starts with a bang for Appledore RNLI

  • RNLI volunteers in the south west remain on call this Christmas

    RNLI volunteer crew, fundraisers and lifeguards in St Ives

  • A cautionary tale from Appledore RNLI

    A cautionary tale from Appledore RNLI

  • Lifejackets for lifesavers - South west RNLI volunteers launch campaign to buy new lifejackets

    Lifejackets for lifesavers - South west RNLI volunteers launch campaign to buy new lifejackets-3

  • Lifejackets for lifesavers - South west RNLI volunteers launch campaign to buy new lifejackets

    Lifejackets for lifesavers - South west RNLI volunteers launch campaign to buy new lifejackets-2

  • Lifejackets for lifesavers - South west RNLI volunteers launch campaign to buy new lifejackets

    Lifejackets for lifesavers - South west RNLI volunteers launch campaign to buy new lifejackets-1

  • Lifejackets for lifesavers - South west RNLI volunteers launch campaign to buy new lifejackets

    Lifejackets for lifesavers - South west RNLI volunteers launch campaign to buy new lifejackets

  • Three emergency calls in one week for Appledore lifeboat

    Three emergency calls in one week for Appledore lifeboat

  • Like father like son as Appledore RNLI’s Coxswain oversees lifeboat lift out

    Martin Cox with Tamar out of water at Babcock

  • Appledore RNLI assist motor cruiser taking on water off Lundy Island

    Appledore RNLI assist motor cruiser taking on water off Lundy Island

  • Ilfracombe RNLI on 20-hour shout to aid disabled trawler

    Ilfracombe and Appledore lifeboats tow the Our Olivia Belle

  • Summer weather brings unseasonable challenges for south west RNLI

    Library shot of an RNLI Atlantic lifeboat

  • Appledore RNLI to officially name their new Atlantic inshore lifeboat

    Appledore Atlantic 85 Glanely in action

  • Rescues come in all shapes and sizes for Appledore RNLI

    The yacht under tow by Appledore RNLI

  • Rescues come in all shapes and sizes for Appledore RNLI

    Taking volunteer RNLI crew to the yacht

 

Image of lifeboat
 

 

Lifeboat name: Douglas Paley

Lifeboat class: B class

Funded by: Mrs E A Paley

Read more about the B class


Image of lifeboat

 

 

Lifeboat name: Mollie Hunt

Lifeboat class: Tamar

Read more about the Tamar

Its early history is uncertain but at one time there were three lifeboat stations, one known as Braunton.  One of the three stations was closed in 1897 and another in 1919.  The station was taken over by the Institution in 1855.

1829
Silver Medals awarded to Owen Smith, William Brinksmead and Philip Guy, for rescuing 11 passengers and the crew of the Bristol packet Daniel which went aground on the South Tail in Bideford Bay in a severe north-west gale on 11 September 1829.

1831
North Devon Humane Society formed.

1833
Number two lifeboat capsized with the loss of three of her crew whilst on service to Brig Mary Ann.  They were S Blackmore, J Peake and B  Pile.  The rest of the crew were rescued by the number one lifeboat.  Committee of Management voted £25 to local fund.

Silver Medal awarded to Captain W Chappell for the rescue in the number two lifeboat of the crew of eight of the ship Delabole stranded on Saunton Sands in Bideford Bay in a strong northerly gale on 6 March 1833.

1834
Silver Medals awarded to Mr J Tuckfield, Mr J Chappell and Mr H Popham for their endeavours to rescue the crew of the brig Mary Ann that sunk on Northam Sands on 24 November 1833.  The Bideford lifeboat Assistance was launched and after searching the wreck, thought it to be deserted, later a movement in the rigging led the lifeboat to be launched again with a second crew, but while lying-to alongside the wreck the lifeboat was overturned by a big breaker and three of her crew were trapped, two being drowned.  The second lifeboat Volunteer launched and saved four men who had scrambled back on the upturned boat.  The crew of the brig were all lost.

Silver Medal awarded to Thomas Burnard for a service to the ship Elizabeth that went aground on Northam Sands in a violent storm on 17 December 1833.  Mr Burnham was first on board one of the two Bideford lifeboats that after launching had a strenuous pull through the surf.  One boat took off ten survivors the other rescued eight. 

1836
Silver Medal awarded to Mr Thomas Day for the rescue by lifeboat of the crew of six of the Schooner Henritetta wrecked off Bideford on 29 November 1836.

1840
Silver Second-Service Clasp awarded to Thomas Burnard on his retirement for services rendered.

1846
Silver Medal awarded to Captain Joshua Williams for the rescue by lifeboat of the crew of the barque Ness that was wrecked near Bideford in heavy weather on 24 December 1845. 

1850
Silver Medal awarded to Captain John Marshall and Silver Second-Service Clasp to Captain Joshua Williams for the rescue of four men from the wreck of the Brig Dasher of St Ives just before she broke up on 23 March 1850.  One man of the Dasher’s crew died in the rigging from exhaustion and the other four men were rescued only just in time to save them from the same fate.

1855
North Devon Human Society taken over by the Institution.  During the period of 24 years, their lifeboats were instrumental in saving 107 lives.

1868
Mr David Johns drowned when trying to save others on the barque Leopard when he swam with a rope and tried to board her.

1861
Silver Medal awarded to Coxswain Joseph Cox (Snr), in testimony of his long and gallant service in the lifeboats in assisting to rescue shipwrecked crews.

1862
A lifeboat house erected at a cost of £34 at Braunton.

1866
Silver Medal awarded Captain Thomas Jones for the rescue of nine men from the Sloop Wool Packet wrecked on Bideford Bar in a heavy westerly gale on 21 September 1866.

1869
Silver Medals awarded to Coxswain Joseph Cox Snr (Second, Third Clasp), Second Coxswain Joseph Cox Jnr and crew member J Kelly. for a service on 28 December 1868 to the Austrian barque Pace which had run aground and for rescuing nine crew just before a tremendous sea struck the lifeboat and drove her under the barques counter.  The lifeboat returned damaged and rudderless and with the coxswain injured.  The coxswain at once called for a second crew and although the boat was damaged, put out again.  The lifeboat was capsized near the wreck and all the crew flung into the surf.  She righted herself, all managed to get aboard and she returned to the shore with only three oars.  A third crew came forward at once and a horseman dashed off for spare oars.  By now however, the tide had turned and had already dropped two feet, it would soon be possible to reach the wreck by wading. “…those on the spot most rightly interfered and would not allow the boat to be launched again although there were four distinct crews of volunteers.” The emperor of Austria awarded the three men the Silver Cross of Merit and made awards to others involved in the rescue.

On the same day crew member Coastguard David Johns swam out with a rope to the barque Leopard which had been driven ashore near Westward Ho!  Whilst attempting to board her he was struck by a piece of wreckage and drowned.  Earlier that day he had crewed the lifeboat during her first launch to the Austrian Barque Pace (details above).  Committee of Management voted £20 to a local fund for his widow.

1870
Silver Medal awarded to Coxswain James Smallridge for the rescue of the crew of seven of the Brig Nigretta that had stranded on Braunton Sands in a strong gale on 5 November 1871. 

1873
A cart was supplied to take crew across the Northam Burrows to the lifeboat as they normally arrived in a half exhausted state and unfit to man the lifeboat.

1887
The lifeboat house erected in 1862 was, owing to the accumulation of sand in front of it, rebuilt on another site.

1889
Lifeboat house and slipway erected at Badsteps and a roadway excavated through rocky foreshore at a cost of £800.

1890
Gas service provided.

1891
Silver Second-Service Clasp awarded to J H Smallridge on his retirement as coxswain of the Braunton lifeboat.

Silver Second-Service Clasp awarded to Joseph Cox Jnr, who had been coxswain of the Appledore lifeboats for 23 years.

1893
New lifeboat house and slipway constructed (Braunton) at a cost of £760.

1894
Braunton station was taken over by Appledore No 3.

1896
Whilst proceeding on service on 6 December to the Brig Carrick of St Johns, the lifeboat capsized, fortunately without loss of life.

1897
No 1 station closed and No 2 station renumbered No 1.

1910
Acetylene beach light supplied.

No 2 lifeboat capsized on exercise without loss of life.

1913
Decided that the old lifeboat house on Northam Burrows be pulled down.

1917
It was reported that the sand had drifted so as to nearly cover the stables.

1918
Station temporarily closed owing to difficulty in obtaining horses and horsemen.

1919
No 3 station closed.

1920
The original No 2 lifeboat house (renumbered in 1897 to No 1) sold for £25.  Approved scheme for adaptation of station for motor lifeboat at a cost of £7,500.

1922
Station was provided with a motor lifeboat.

1928
Centenary Vellum awarded to station.

1935
Bronze Medal awarded to Second Coxswain G H E Pow, when he took command of the lifeboat in the coxswain’s absence and went out in a gale with a very heavy sea, to assist the fishing vessel Lee Bay of Ilfracombe in difficulties at the north end of Bideford Bay on the evening of 11 January 1935.  The tide was low and the seas so heavy that the lifeboat actually touched as she crossed the bar but she got safely across and coming alongside the coxswain veered down twice in the darkness and a disabled man was lifted on board, the other two men jumping to safety.  Shortly afterwards the fishing boat dragged was smashed to pieces on the cliffs.

1944
Bronze Medal awarded to Coxswain Sidney Cann for the rescue of the crew of seven of a concrete harbour unit that had broken from her tow some 10 miles off Morte Point on 18 October 1944.  This was a very fine service carried out in a west-south-west gale and a very rough sea and the coxswain deserved great praise for the way he navigated the lifeboat, having been given three different positions.

1950
Bronze Second-Service Clasp to Coxswain Sidney Cann for a service to the Spanish steamer Monte Gurugu which sank south of Lundy Island in a full north-westerly gale and tremendous seas on 12 November 1949.  Ilfracombe and Clovelly lifeboats also took part in this service.  This was a long, arduous, and gallant service in tempestuous weather conditions.  Twenty-four lives were rescued by the lifeboats but 13 of the Monte Gurugu’s crew perished.

1956
Robert Cann, aged 10, a grand nephew of Coxswain Sidney Cann, was granted a wrist watch for rescuing two boys in a shore boat incident on 16 August.

1959
Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum accorded to Coxswain Sidney Cann for the service to the Polish ship Gilwice on 13 November.

1963
Silver Medal awarded to Coxswain Sidney Cann for a service to the RFA Tanker Green Ranger which broke loose from a tow off Hartland Point on 17/18 November 1962 in a northerly Force 9 Strong Gale and a very rough sea. 

1964
Bronze Medal awarded to Second Coxswain John Richard Bowden for rescuing the crew of four of the yacht Volunteer which stranded near the entrance to the River Taw on 11/9/1964.

1966
On 1 January the lifeboat conveyed two doctors to Lundy Island to a woman who was seriously ill.  There was a westerly gale gusting to hurricane force with a rough sea but the two doctors could not be landed.  They were put ashore using the South Lighthouse stores hoist and both doctors showed courage and determination.  Their efforts were reported to the British Medical Association who recognised their efforts by entering the names of Dr Brook and Dr Ruddock in the Book of Valour of the British Medical Association.  The coxswain and crew were each awarded an additional monetary award.

1971
On 10 January the lifeboat conveyed a doctor to the motor vessel Manchester Merit 40 miles south west of the Smalls lighthouse to attend an injured seaman.  The doctor had much difficulty in climbing the Jacob’s ladder to board the vessel due to a 15 feet rise and fall of the sea.  At one time a lifeboat crew member, J Pavitt, saved the doctor from being crushed.  The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum were accorded to Dr D F Valentine and crew member J Pavitt.

1972
Atlantic 21 class lifeboat sent to station.

1975
A celebration 150th Anniversary Vellum awarded to station.

1986
Bronze Medal awarded to Helmsman J Pavitt in recognition of the courage, determination and seamanship displayed by him when rescuing a board sailor and his board three cables to the south of Asp Rock in a strong southerly gale and very rough seas on 1 December 1985.

1988
The new Tyne class lifeboat ON1140 George Gibson was place on service June 1988.  This lifeboat was provided by the generous gift of Mr George C Gibson OBE through the Gibson Charitable Trust.

1995
Bronze Medal awarded to Coxswain Michael Bowden in recognition of his fine seamanship, leadership, skill and meritorious conduct when assisting in the rescue of crew of the fishing vessel Torridge Warrior, which suffered engine failure in the vicinity of Bideford Bar Buoy in a strong gale and very steep seas on 31 March 1994.

1997
New Atlantic 75 lifeboat B742 Douglas Paley was placed on service on 11 December.

2000
Temporary facilities in place to enable new boathouse to be built.  New boathouse and slip scheduled for completion early 2001.

2005
Bronze Medal awarded to Helmsman Gary Stanbury in recognition of his courage, determination and leadership when the B class inshore lifeboat saved three men from the power boat Kasam, which was in difficulties in Bideford Bar on the evening of 22 January 2005.  The rescue took place in darkness amongst large unpredictable breaking waves caused by the wind over tide conditions.  The Walter and Elizabeth Groombridge Award for 2005 was made for this service.

2009
At the Trustee Committee meeting on 1 April 2009 following recommendations of the visit on 17 September 2008 by the Coast Review delegation, it was resolved that a Tamar class lifeboat, currently in build, be allocated to Appledore Lifeboat Station.

2010
The new Tamar class lifeboat ON1296 Mollie Hunt was placed on service on 29 March. Lifeboat ON1140 has been withdrawn. This lifeboat was funded by the generous legacy of Mrs Evelyn Mary Hunt together with other bequests and gifts.

2012
New Atlantic 85 lifeboat, B861 Glanely was placed on service 9 July 2012. The lifeboat was provided by the generous gift of Mr Simon Gibson CBE DL who is the son and Trustee of the GC Gibson Charitable Trust that provided the funding for the Tyne class lifeboat ON1140 George Gibson in 1988. Lifeboat B742 Douglas Paley has been withdrawn.

MEDAL RECORD
Thirty medals have been awarded, 23 Silver - seven Bronze, the last medal being voted in 2005.

FOREIGN AWARD
The Spanish Society for Saving the Shipwrecked awarded a Silver Medal to the Appledore coxswain and diplomas to each of the crew for their assistance to the steamer Monte Gurugu on 13 November 1949.