Brighton Lifeboat Station originally operated an all-weather lifeboat and was established in the same year the RNLI formed. The station now operates an inshore lifeboat and has been presented with over 20 awards for gallantry.
This station is classed as an Observe station. Observe stations also welcome visitors but many are in inaccessible places and best suited to maritime rescue rather than visits. However, they are situated in stunning locations so why not enjoy the local area, using the station as a starting point?
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Brighton RNLI lifeboat crew were scrambled in the early hours of Sunday morning to assist in the rescue of a man whose car went over cliffs and plunged 100ft into the sea below.
Lifeboat crews around the coast of Sussex and Kent were kept busy in 2013, according to figures released by the RNLI charity today (28 January).
A volunteer from Brighton RNLI lifeboat station saved the day on Monday evening when he came to the aid of a yachtsman in difficulty – just by speaking Spanish.
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Brighton Lifeboat StationBrighton MarinaEast SussexBN2 5UF
General: 07802 474745
Media enquiries: 07740 861862
Station opening times:
By appointment only
Visitor contact telephone:
Shop opening times:
Specific 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.
Lifeboat name: Random Harvest
Lifeboat class: B class
Read more about the B class
The Institution’s First Annual Report (for 1824) appears the following notation: -
“The Committee are happy to state that local associations, which have affiliated themselves with this Institution, have been formed at the following places: Dover, Brighton, Penzance, Newcastle-on-Tyne and Bridlington”.
The first boat was received at Brighton on 30 January 1825; it was transferred to the Isles of Scilly in 1837.
1824Silver Medal awarded to Charles Watts for the rescue of three people from a Brighton pleasure boat on 15 June.
1838Silver Medal awarded to Lieut E Franklin RN when, with two Coastguards, he rescued by wading into the sea with ropes the Master and seven crew of the Brig Friends, who were in the rigging on 29 October.
1839Silver Medal awarded to Lieut G Franklyn RN for the rescue of the Master and five men, being the whole crew of the Brig Zebra on 19 January.
1840Gold Medal awarded to Captain Digby Marsh RN, coastguard, and Silver Medals to Lieut N Newman RN, coastguard; Lieut T H Prior RN, coastguard, for the rescue, by means of a line, of the Masters and crews of the Brig Mary, Schooner Sir John Seale and the Brig Offerton; in all 22 men and boys on 13 December.
1860A helper, J Laker, was run over and killed by a carriage at a service launch on 2 June.
1886In view of the new groynes etc on the beach, it became necessary to remove the lifeboat to a site between two piers. The Institution agreed to take over the two arches being constructed under the Western Esplanade and surrender the present lifeboat house to Brighton Corporation.
1904It was reported that on the occasion of the stranding of the ketch Antelope on 10 April, the coxswain of the lifeboat obtained a crew of 11, six belonging to the Institution’s crew, and went in the town lifeboat and rescued three men.
1928Use of horses abolished.
A Centenary Vellum awarded.
1931Station closed as Shoreham motor lifeboat served in the area.
1965D class lifeboat sent to station in April. This ILB was provided from donations made by the customers of The Rising Sun public house in London.
1967Letters of Thanks signed by the Chairman of the Institution awarded to G Wheeler, P Avey and E C Newman in connection with the service carried out on 25 June 1967, when a rubber dinghy and five people were saved.
1974A D class lifeboat withdrawn for the winter on 30 October.
1975Station closed temporarily until Marina facilities available. Station non-operational.
1977B-539 exhibited at the Earls Court Boat Show in January 1977 as Brighton’s new ILB, but suitable berthing arrangements were not available in the marina.
1978In May a reserve McLachlan class lifeboat was sent to the station for crew training. It was withdrawn in July when B539 was placed on restricted service.
1979Station became fully operational from April after being on restricted service in 1978. The boat had operated from an afloat berth in the Marina until a pontoon, costing approximately £10,000 was provided for the Atlantic 21 lifeboat. The pontoon became operational from 24 December.
1986The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum was accorded to Helmsman Alan John Young, crew members Roger George Cohen and Stanley Todd in recognition of the skill, determination and teamwork displayed when rescuing the crew of three from the yacht Asterionella in extremely hazardous conditions on 26 August. The relief ILB B-520 capsized three times during this service.
1996Silver Medal awarded to Helmsman Richard Pearce in recognition of his courage, initiative and seamanship, and Bronze Medals awarded to crew members Martin Ebdell and Edward Purches in recognition of the initiative, determination and selflessness displayed during the service on 7/8 September 1995 when the lifeboat rescued two young women clinging to the supports beneath Brighton Palace Pier approximately 20 yards off the beach in very rough seas and a heavy breaking surf. A Framed Letter of Thanks signed by the Chairman of the Institution was awarded to Brighton Lifeboat Station recognising the role played by the station as a whole. Framed Letters of Thanks signed by the Chairman were also awarded to Auxiliary Coastguard Mr Peter Apps and Mr Nick Gilbert recognising their efforts on the beach during this rescue.
The Walter and Elizabeth Groombridge Award for the most meritorious service performed by an Atlantic 21 class lifeboat during 1995 was awarded to crew members Richard Pearce, Edward Purches and Martin Ebdell for this service and The Maude Smith Bequest for the most outstanding act of life saving was awarded to crew member Richard Pearce the following year.
1997New Atlantic 75 lifeboat B-737 placed on service on 1 July.
On 18 November the Atlantic 75 class lifeboat had been called on service. After searching for an hour in heavy surf conditions the lifeboat was caught by a large breaking sea and capsized. One crewman was thrown clear and was subsequently winched to safety by a coastguard helicopter. The remaining crew managed to right the lifeboat but it capsized again close inshore and the boat and crew were washed ashore. Fortunately no one was seriously injured and the boat was recovered with remarkably little damage.
The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum accorded to Helmsman Mark Smith and crew member Mark Hayes and Framed Letters of Thanks signed by the Chairman of the Institution to crew members Berenice McCall and Anthony Parsons for a service to a man over board from the yacht Xanadu on 7 December.
1998The Walter and Elizabeth Groombridge Award for the most meritorious service performed by an Atlantic 21 class lifeboat during 1997 was awarded to Helmsman Mark Smith and crew member Mark Hayes for the service on 7 December detailed above.
2000New shore facility completed, work started in August 1999 and cost £299,775.
2010The Trustees of the RNLI at their meeting on 3 November confirmed an anniversary Vellum to acknowledge the completion of 150 years aggregated service as a lifeboat station in 2009.
2011The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum accorded to Helmsman Mark Smith of the station’s Atlantic inshore lifeboat for saving a man’s life. He was overboard from the yacht Lady Cilla on 26 May 2011. This difficult rescue took place close to the marina entrance, in rough seas and force 7 winds. The man’s situation was exacerbated by the fact he was tethered to the yacht. Crew member Marcus Morris, who was put aboard the casualty received a Framed Letter of Thanks signed by the Chairman for his contribution to the service.
A new Atlantic 85 B class lifeboat, B-852, Random Harvest was placed on service on 8 September. Lifeboat B-737 withdrawn.
MEDAL RECORDTen Medals have been awarded, one Gold, seven Silver and two Bronze.
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number CHY 2678 in the Republic of Ireland | RNLI (Trading) Ltd - 01073377, RNLI (Sales) Ltd - 2202240, RNLI (Enterprises) Ltd - 1784500 and RNLI College Ltd - 7705470 are all companies registered at West Quay Road, Poole BH15 1HZ. Images & copyright © RNLI 2014.