Clacton-on-Sea lifeboat was one of the 19 lifeboats that took part in the evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force from Dunkirk. Celebrating over 125 years of saving lives at sea the crews have been presented with over 30 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
The charity that saves lives at sea around the coastline of the East of England has experienced another busy summer period of rescues, as evidenced by figures released today (Monday 23 September).
Volunteer lifeboat crews had their busiest day of the year as thousands of air shows fans flocked to Clacton seafront on Friday.
Clacton RNLI’s Atlantic 85 lifeboat was called to Buxey Sand, four miles off Clacton, after Thames Coastguard received a mayday call from the yacht at 4.50pm on Friday 16 August.
See more news for Clacton-on-Sea Lifeboat Station
With more than “three ships sailing by”, it’s an “Oarsome” Christmas Holiday Event for everyone
Clacton Lifeboat Station Hastings Avenue Clacton EssexCO15 1BW
Station opening times:
By appointment only and on advertised open days
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: Robert George Alexander
Lifeboat class: B class
Funded by: legacy of Mr R G Alexander
Read more about the B class
Lifeboat name: Damarkand IV
Lifeboat class: D class
Read more about the D class
The Institution decided to open a station at Clacton-on-Sea in 1877 at the request of local residents, and the first boat was sent in the following year. The first three lifeboats all named Albert Edward were gifts to the Institution from the Freemasons of England, the first being presented in 1878 in commemoration of the safe return from his tour in India of their Grand Master King Edward VII, then the Prince of Wales.
1828Silver Medal awarded to William Weekes for the rescue, with eight others of the Master, Mate and 10 seamen from the Brig Graf Von Essen on 1 December 1828.
1830Silver Medal was awarded to Robert Cleave who, with two seamen, rescued two seamen from the Brig Craig Elachie, wrecked on Gunfleet Sand on 24 December 1829.
1843Silver Medals awarded to John Glover, master of the Smack Atalanta, Stephen Hurry, Master of the Smack New Gypsy, and John Powell of Lord Howe for rescuing the master and nine men from the rigging of the brig Traveller, wrecked at Gunfleet Sand in gale force wind and tremendous seas on 18 February 1843.
1855Silver Medals awarded to Captain William Lewis (smack Tyrall) and Captain John Lewis (smack Aurorra’s Increase) for a service on 16/18 January 1855 to the Brig Stanton of North Shields, that went aground on Gunfleet Sand. Attempts were made by several smacks to get her off, but without success. The Smack Aurora's Increase then took off her crew, with the exception of an apprentice boy and three men belonging to another smack. The next day the Smacks Tryall and Aurora's Increase endeavoured to rescue these people, but in vain, and it was not until two days later that they succeeded in doing so. This was accomplished with the assistance of the Steam-tug Amazon.
1878Lifeboat house constructed in Anglefield on the corner of Church Road at a cost of £510 by Messrs A I E Cauler. A fence was placed around the lifeboat house to a cost of £39 to prevent cattle from damaging it.
1881Silver Medal awarded to Coxswain Robert Legerton, in recognition of his general gallant services and particularly on the occasion of the rescue of the crew of 16 men of the Lugger Madeleine, which was wrecked on Gunfleet Sands on 23 October 1881.
1884Two slipways constructed on pier for use of lifeboat at a cost of £690.
Silver Medal Second-Service Clasp awarded to Coxswain Samuel James Robert Legerton, in recognition of his valuable services when on 23/24 January 1884 during a north-westerly gale the lifeboat capsized with the loss of two of her crew of 12, Second Coxswain James Cross, and crew member T Cattermole, whilst on service to the barge Jesse which lay at anchor near the Heaps Buoy with her sails in tatters and showing distress lights. The Committee of Management voted £450 to local funds.
1888Committee of Management voted £50 to the widow of Benjamin Addis who died on 19 February from the effects of exposure when out on service on 14 January. He had been a member of the crew since the formation of the station.
1891Silver Medal Third-Service Clasp was awarded to Robert Legerton on his resignation from the post of coxswain which he held for about 13 years.
1893Silver Medal awarded to Coxswain W Schofield, in recognition of his gallant services in the boats.
Repairs to slipway £160.
1894Silver Medals to Maurice Nicholls, Robert Osborne and John Grier who had been out on service respectively 77, 74 and 67 times.
1899Silver Medals awarded to Maurice Nicholls (Second-Service Clasp), Robert Osborne (Second-Service Clasp) and G Grigson Snr on their retirement.
1911Estimate for new slipway £1,500.
1914Silver Medal awarded to Coxswain George Grigson for the rescue of 15 men from the ss Harlington that went ashore on Gunfleet Sands in a south-south-westerly gale and very heavy seas on 2/5 December 1914. The lifeboat was on scene almost continually until 5 December.
1915Silver Medals Second-Service clasp awarded to Coxswain George Grigson and Second Coxswain Jesse Salmon for the rescue of the Barque Leading Chief on 28/29 September 1915 It was necessary for the lifeboat to make nine separate attempts to approach the vessel and finally to take the lifeboat over the submerged deck of the vessel in a most hazardous operation in the inky darkness with the heavy seas running.
1918Silver Medal Third Service clasp to Coxswain George Grigson and the Bronze Medal to Second Coxswain J Salmon for the rescue of 23 from the ss Iris that went ashore in strong easterly gale, snow, and very rough seas on 27 December 1917. The Master refused to leave the ship and the lifeboat stood by for several hours. The weather got worse and it was not until the seas were washing the vessel that the Captain decided to leave the ship. The crew were rescued with great difficulty and danger. Both the rescuers and the rescued were numbed and well nigh frozen from their long exposure of 24 hours in icy cold weather.
1940Silver Medal awarded to Coxswain Charles Ellis for the rescue of three from the smack Charlotte Ellen and two of the Barge Lorna in gale force winds and very rough seas on 19 November 1939. At daybreak the lifeboat found the smack Charlotte Ellen anchored and helpless in a very dangerous position at Swire Hole. The coxswain took the lifeboat between the vessel and the sands and took off her three man crew. After landing the survivors he went out again to find the barge Lorna anchored between south Whitaker and Middle Sands with seas breaking right over her. After an unsuccessful attempt to get alongside the coxswain ran the lifeboat onto the deck and his crew snatched the two crewmen aboard just as the heavy seas washed the lifeboat off.
The Clacton lifeboat Edward Z Dresden was one of the 19 lifeboats that took part in the evacuation of the BEF from Dunkirk. The lifeboat could no longer work from Clacton as the middle of the pier had been blown up to make it useless to invading forces and the lifeboat house was at the end of the pier. The lifeboat was then stationed at Brightlingsea in the River Colne where she lay afloat.
1943There is a memorial plaque in the lifeboat house in memory of Second Coxswain Frank Castle who lost his life on service on 7 April 1943, when the barge Tam O'Shanter capsized in heavy weather while being towed by the lifeboat.
1966A D class lifeboat sent to station in July.
1967The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum accorded to the Coxswain George Ellis for the rescue of eight people on board the catamaran Yana, six of whom were policemen, which was in difficulties one mile west of the Sunken Buxey buoy in a storm force south-westerly wind with a very rough sea on 16/17 October.
1970The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum accorded to Coxswain Charles Bolingbroke in recognition of his courage and determination when the lifeboat rescued three men from a converted ship's lifeboat which had broken down one and a half miles south west of Beach Head buoy in a southerly gale and a rough sea on 16 August. Vellum service certificates were presented to the remainder of the crew.
1971The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum accorded to Coxswain Charles Bolingbroke in recognition of his leadership and seamanship when the lifeboat rescued five people from the yacht Zona and the cabin cruiser Pisces which were in difficulties near the West Swinn buoy in a south-south-westerly gale and a rough sea on 20 November. Framed Letters of Thanks signed by the Chairman were presented to the remainder of the crew.
1974The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum accorded to Coxswain Charles Bolingbroke in recognition of his considerable courage and great skill when the lifeboat saved the Dutch 45 foot steel motor barge Minnie Ha Ha and her crew of three which was aground in a gale force wind and a very rough sea on 15 July. Vellum service certificates were presented to the remainder of the crew.
1978Centenary Vellum awarded to station.
1984Atlantic 21 class lifeboat was placed on service at the station on 6 August, and the all-weather lifeboat was withdrawn on 10 August.
1992Bronze Medal awarded to Helmsman David Wells in recognition of his high standard of seamanship, boat-handling skills and determination, when the Atlantic 21 class lifeboat Institute of London Underwriters gave assistance to the yacht Two Niner on 1 November 1991. The yacht, with six people on board, had gone aground on the south-east side of Buxey Sand in a south-south-westerly gale and very rough seas. The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum was accorded to Terry M Bolingbroke and A Framed Letter of Thanks signed by the Chairman of the Institution, Michael Vernon, was awarded to crew member Thomas Ridley. The Ralph Glister Award and the Walter and Elizabeth Groombridge Award were awarded to Helmsman David Wells and crew members Thomas Ridley and Terry Bolingbroke for this service.
1998Construction of a side extension to the boathouse in order to provide housing for an Atlantic 75 class lifeboat, plus improved crew facilities was completed in September.
A new Atlantic 75 class lifeboat, B-744 Robert George Alexander was placed on service 10 Oct 1998. The lifeboat was funded by the legacy of Mr R G Alexander.
2006A new B and D class boathouse built at a cost of £645,125 completed 6 September.
2009A new D class lifeboat, D-723 Damarkand IV, was placed on service on 25 June. Lifeboat D-559 Seahorse II has been withdrawn.
2012A new Atlantic 85 class lifeboat, B-863 David Porter MPS was placed on service on 08 August 2012. Lifeboat B-744 Robert George Alexander has been withdrawn.
MEDAL RECORDTwenty-four medals have been awarded to Clacton, 22 Silver and two Bronze, the last being voted in 1992.
FOREIGN AWARDSThe French Government awarded a Gold Medal to Coxswain R Legerton and Second Coxswain James Cross and Silver Medals to each of the remaining 11 members of the lifeboat's crew for the rescue of the crew of 16 of the steam lugger Madeleine of Boulogne in October 1881.
In 1894 HM The King of Denmark awarded a Silver Medal to Coxswain William Schofield and a monetary reward to the lifeboat crew for the rescue of the crew of seven of the brigantine St Alexal of Copenhagen in January 1894.
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 2013.