Burnham-on-Sea is the RNLI’s newest lifeboat station on the Somerset coast. A lifeboat was stationed here in the 1800s and early 1900s but the present RNLI station opened in 2003 and operates two inshore lifeboats.
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?
Visit station website
The RNLI has commenced an emergency project to lay some 50 metres of bog mats over the lower section of their launch route and this work will be carried out on the low tides during week commencing 11 August.
The volunteer crew were paged at 7.55pm on Thursday evening (24 July) to a broken down speedboat with three people aboard.
Coastal fatality figures* released today (24 July) reveal 32 people accidentally lost their lives on the south west coast last year.
See more news for Burnham-on-Sea Lifeboat Station
The Princess Theatre Company in association with BOSH Youth Theatre and the RNLI invite you to join them on a journey through the history of the RNLI - Out of the Mist.
Burnham-on-Sea Lifeboat StationPier Street Burnham-on-Sea SomersetTA8 1BT
Station opening times:
By appointment onlyDon't miss: crew training 7.30pm–9.30pm Wednesday
Parking, disabled access
Visitor contact telephone:
01278 78205007710 181999
Shop opening times:
23 March–15 DecemberMonday–Saturday10am–4pm
23 March–15 DecemberMonday–Saturday10am–4pm
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: Staines Whitfield
Lifeboat class: B class
Read more about the B class
Lifeboat name: Puffin
Lifeboat class: D class
Read more about the D class
1836Sir Peregrine Acland presented the Corporation of Bridgwater with a lifeboat. This was to be kept at Burnham-on-Sea in a boathouse erected by the donor, and followed closely on a local shipping disaster.
1847The Bridgwater Harbour Trust replaced the old lifeboat with a new boat built by Gale of Whitby, upon the most approved principles laid down by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. This lifeboat was allowed to decay and was broken up in 1857.
1866Station taken over by RNLI. Lifeboat house built on ground owned by the Rev H Dodd.
1867Extract from Lifeboat Journal 1 January 1867:-
As the life-boat formerly placed at Burnham by the Bridgwater Harbour Trust, being ill-adapted for the locality, had been allowed to go to decay, and had then been broken up, the National Life-boat Institution recently, with the assistance of the Harbour Commissioners and other gentlemen in the locality, formed a new life-boat establishment there. It was thought desirable that a lifeboat should be stationed there as the ordinary shore boats frequently ran great risk in putting off to vessels in distress on the outlying sandbanks in the vicinity. The Institution has therefore forwarded a 32 ft 10-oared life-boat and a transporting carriage to the station, and they have been placed in an excellent boathouse prepared for their reception. The cost of the lifeboat and carriage etc has been defrayed from the lifeboat fund raised in the town of Cheltenham and its neighbourhood, principally through the benevolent exertions of the Rev W Hodgson, Captain A W Young RN, and Mr Witchell, the bookseller. The life-boat was conveyed to Cheltenham, en route to her station, that the contributors might have an opportunity of seeing their boat and it was publicly named and launched on the Pittville Lake in the suburbs of that town, on the 10th October, amidst much enthusiasm. Lady Charlotte Schreiber for the borough presented the boat to the Institution in an appropriate speech. A very hearty reception was also given to the boat on its arrival at Burnham, and a deputation from Cheltenham attended to take part in the proceedings on the occasion of its launch there. The boat and carriage were liberally conveyed from London to their destination free of charge by the Great Western and Bristol and Exeter Railway Companies."
1874New boathouse built adjoining the railway station close to the pier or long inclined slip from which the lifeboat was launched.
1896Small truck supplied to convey beach roller skids etc for launching the lifeboat.
1903Water laid on to boathouse.
1930Lifeboat station closed. Motor lifeboats placed at Minehead and Weston-super-Mare to cover Bridgwater Bay.
1994Independent lifeboat service started, Burnham Area Rescue.
* * * * * *Burnham-on-Sea Lifeboat Station
The RNLI lifeboat provision for Burnham-on-sea was given the final stamp of approval at the Trustee Committee meeting which took place at RNLI head quarters on Wednesday 2 July 2003.
2003The lifeboat station was taken over after a request from Burnham Area Rescue Boat, and became operational on December 2003 with two inshore lifeboats; an Atlantic 75 RIB and a D class.
2004The new Atlantic 85, B class lifeboat, B795 Staines Whitfield placed on service 7 January 2004.
2006The new class of lifeboat IB1, D-664 Puffin was placed on service on Monday 11 December. This lifeboat was funded by a generous gift from Mrs O Mitchell. D552 has been returned to the Relief Fleet.
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 - 1073377, RNLI (Sales) Ltd - 2202240, RNLI (Enterprises) Ltd - 1784500 and RNLI College Ltd - 7705470 are all companies registered in England and Wales at West Quay Road, Poole BH15 1HZ. Images & copyright © RNLI 2014.