The original station at Clovelly was one of only two stations that operated a Clyde class lifeboat. The station closed in 1988 and after a gap of 10 years, when the lifeboat was operated privately, the RNLI reopened the station with an inshore B class lifeboat.
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?
Jack Lowe, photographer and life-long enthusiast of the RNLI, is embarking on an ambitious project to visit all 237 RNLI lifeboat stations, whilst capturing stunning glass images along the way. This week he continues across North Devon and Somerset.
Even experienced sailors sometimes need the RNLI to help them, and we are reminded that whilst our volunteer crew are saving lives at sea, back at home the families wait for their safe return.
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is issuing its own call for help, appealing for volunteers and fundraisers to get involved with ‘Mayday’, the charity’s forthcoming national fundraising event which will take place from 1–4 May this year.
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Clovelly Lifeboat Station 62 The Quay Clovelly BidefordDevonEX39 5TF
Station opening times:
By appointment only
Martel Fursdon, Lifeboat Operations Manager
Visitor contact telephone:
Lifeboat Operations Manager
Neil Wonnacott - Senior Helm
Steve Marvell - Helm
Rob Weare - Helm
Larry Sanders, Boat mechanic
Other station officials
Tom Wiersma - Lifeboat Press Officer
Alison Campbell - Lifeboat Treasurer
Dr J Woods - Lifeboat Medical Adviser
Rev. Shirley Henderson - Lifeboat Chaplain
Lifeboat name: Toby Rundle
Lifeboat class: B class
Funded by: The Rundle Family, Williton, Somerset
Read more about the B class
A lifeboat station was established at Clovelly following a wreck in the bay and in consideration of the distance separating the then two flanking stations of Bude and Bideford. A new 32ft 10in oared lifeboat proved by Mrs Boetefour of London in memory of her late husband who was an active member of the Committee of Management of the RNLI and one of the most munificent benefactors.
1869Silver Medal awarded to Mr George Bumby, Chief Officer Coastguard as Clovelly for putting off in a shore boat with others at much risk of life and bringing safely to land a long boat with 13 people form the Barque Od ne wrecked at Portledge Mouth in a whole gale and heavy sea on 12 September.
1870Lifeboat house constructed at a cost of £175.
1882Silver Medal awarded to Coxswain Richard Headon in recognition of his gallant services in saving 34 lives during the past 12 years.
1890Silver Medal to Mr Sidney Abbott and Mr Robert Hodge for putting off at great risk in a small boat and gallantly rescuing two men from a boat that had capsized off Clovelly in a north-north-easterly gale and heavy sea on 5 November.
1892Boat house reconstructed and a slipway provided at a cost of £1,065.
1902Committee of Management voted £125 to the widow of Bowman John Dunn, who died from the effects of exposure on service 28 April.
1908Acetylene beach light supplied.
1913Second Coxswain washed out of lifeboat on service to unknown vessel on 15 March; fortunately he was recovered.
1949Bronze Medal awarded to Bowman Percy Shackson and Assistant Mechanic William Braund for the rescue on 30 August1948 of two Americans from a rock under the cliffs at Baggy Point. It was impossible to get close enough with the lifeboat so the Coxswain called for two volunteers to man a dinghy brought by the lifeboat. The two men handled the dinghy with great skill and courage in the darkness and dangerous waters. The Maude Smith Award for Courage for Bravest Deed of the Year awarded to Bowman Percy Shackson and Assistant Mechanic William Braund for this service.
1954Bronze Medal was awarded to Coxswain George Lamey for the rescue of the crew of three of the ketch Progress on 28 July in a north-westerly gale and very rough sea. The lifeboat had to be brought under the lee of the ketch 10 times before the crew, as well a cat, some new born kittens and a canary were taken aboard.
1962A Letter of Appreciation signed by the Chairman of the Institution together with an additional monetary award was sent to the coxswain and crew for launching on service in considerably difficult conditions because of an onshore gale and a tide being at low water on 17 November, to the tanker Green Ranger.
1971A Centenary vellum awarded.
1971The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vvellum accorded to Dr D Mackenzie, the Honorary Medical Adviser, in recognition of his courage when on 7/8 November he went afloat in the lifeboat and boarded the motor vessel Embdena under the most hazardous conditions to attend to a seriously injured man.
1972Framed Letters of Appreciation signed by the Chairman of the Institution presented to Boat Mechanics R G Tanner & P J Croft for the rescue of two men trapped on the cliffs using an inshore lifeboat on temporary duty at the station on 10 June.
1974Bronze Medal awarded to Staff Coxswain Michael Stafford Houchen for courage and seamanship when the lifeboat saved the trawler St Pierre that was taking water, and her crew of three, on 6 February.
1979A special framed certificate awarded to the Coxswain and crew for display at the Station in recognition of their services in connection with numerous yachts in difficulties during the Fastnet Race on 15 August.
1987A Framed Letter of Appreciation signed by the Chairman of the Institution was present0ed to the Coxswain and crew members of the lifeboat City of Bristol for their professional and seamanlike manner, when four people were rescued from the yacht Moon Dragon and the vessel saved in difficult conditions on the night of 11/12 July.
1988Station closed 15 August.
1998Re-opened as Atlantic 21 station in May.
MEDAL RECORDThe men of Clovelly have been awarded eight medals, four Silver and four Bronze, the last being voted in 1974.
FOREIGN AWARDSIn 1950 the Spanish Society for Saving the Shipwrecked awarded Coxswain Lamey the silver prize medal and a Diploma of Merit to the crew for the service to ss Monte Gurugu.
Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Registered charity number 20003326 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 and copyright © RNLI 2015.