For over 150 years Cullercoats has had a lifeboat station and the lifeboat crews have been presented with seven awards for gallantry. The station has also seen tragedy with seven crew losing their lives saving others at sea.
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Coastal fatality figures* released today (9 July) by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) show 31 people lost their lives around the north England coasts last year – but 61% didn’t even set out to enter the water.
Cullercoats Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) has received a special award in recognition of the training and educational opportunities that it provides for its volunteers.
SIX anglers had a lucky escape this afternoon when their boat started taking on water half a mile out to sea from South Shields.
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Cullercoats Lifeboat Station Cullercoats Harbour North Side Cullercoats Tyne & Wear NE30 3DS
0191 252 1820
Station opening times:
Wednesday 6.30pm–8pmSunday 9am–11.30am
Visitor contact telephone:
0191 253 5251
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: Hylton Burdon
Lifeboat class: B class (Atlantic 85)
Read more about the B class
1827Silver Medal awarded to Alexander Donkin when he rescue the master of the sloop James that was wrecked on shore near Cullercoats at 2100 in a heavy gale on 7 March 1827. A boat manned by nine fishermen made two unsuccessful attempted to reach the wreck so Mr Donkin plunged in amongst the breakers and swam until he reached a rock some 40 yards from the wreck where he was able then, after much difficulty to save the master who had jumped off the wreck. The two men were then taken off the rock by the nine men in the local boat that had been pulled over the rocks to launch from a new site. The Medal for this service was stolen and re-issued as a new Medal in 1833.
1853Medal awarded to Coxswain John Redford for a service on 26 February 1852, when a fishing boat endeavouring to enter Cullercoats Haven during a heavy gale, was dashed against the rocks and two out of three people drowned. The third, a young boy, who had succeeded in retaining his hold of a rock was rescued by Coxswain Redford, who jumped into the surf with a rope and swam to his assistance enabling the boy to be hauled to safety.
1896Co-operative Union, the donors of the lifeboat, raised local funds for a new lifeboat house and slipway.
1897System of enrolled crews abolished and all the fishermen between 21-55 who were considered suitable were enrolled.
1898Silver Medal awarded to Coxswain Andrew Taylor on his retirement in recognition of his service in saving lives at sea.
1913Member of crew washed out of lifeboat when on service on 15 January to barque Californian of Mariehamn but was recovered.
1939On 22 April, when the lifeboat was out on an exercise, launch in a moderate north east gale, the coxswain, a most experienced seaman, took her close to Sharpness Point where there is a strong tide-rip and a confused backwash from the rocks and from Tynemouth Pier. In that weather there was nothing to make the place exceptionally dangerous for the lifeboat, but the lifeboat was caught by a combination of several seas which built themselves up into a single sea of exceptional size, so suddenly and so near the lifeboat, that the coxswain had no time to luff up to meet it. It struck the lifeboat on her beam and threw her right over. Of the 10 people on board, four managed to struggle ashore but the other six, including the coxswain and the honorary secretary, were drowned. Their names were J L Abel, JR Armstrong, K L Biggar, Lt Cmdr L E R Blakeney-Booth, G Brunton, J H Scott and T Stewart.
1950On 27 November the body of a man was seen in the sea. Lifeboat grounded at bottom of slipway and three men were washed off breakwater trying to get afloat. Raymond Oliver aged 18 youngest member of the lifeboat crew jumped overboard and though spraining his ankle brought the men ashore with the assistance of his uncle. He then returned to the lifeboat
On 30 May the lifeboat returned ashore after an engine trial and was being replaced on her carriage when she slipped back severely injuring a helper, Mr Thomas Stewart, aged 66. As a result of this his leg was amputated and he died. His widow was granted a pension.
1952A Centenary Vellum awarded.
1965D class lifeboat sent to station in May.
1969Conventional lifeboat withdrawn from station on 4 May.
1984D class lifeboat withdrawn and replaced with a C class on 12 June.
1991C class lifeboat withdrawn from station on 9 April and replaced by Atlantic 21 class lifeboat.
1995Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum was accorded to Helmsman Brian Gould in recognition of his seamanship and leadership when the lifeboat rescued five people from a speedboat which had capsized in breaking seas, in a Force 5 Fresh Breeze and heavy surf approximately 400 yards off Tynemouth beach north of Sharpness Point on 8 April.
1996Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum was accorded to Helmsman Robert Oliver in recognition of his courage, seamanship and leadership. Framed Letters of Thanks signed by the Chairman of the Institution was accorded to crew members Mark Charlton and David Pendlington in recognition of the service to rescue a lifeguard trapped on a rocky ledge in a rising tide at the base of a 60ft cliff in a Force 7 Near Gale and 5m breaking seas and stood by while personnel from Caird Industrial Services and Northumbrian Water effected a cliff rescue on the afternoon of 29 August.
1997The Walter and Elizabeth Groombridge Award for the most meritorious service performed by an Atlantic 21 class lifeboat during 1996 was awarded to Helmsman Robert Oliver for the service on 29 August detailed above.
2001On 28 November the Committee of Management voted the award of a Vellum to Cullercoats to commemorate the completion of 150 years as a lifeboat station.
2003A boathouse extension completed at a cost of £354,575.
2007A boathouse extension to accommodate FIB1 was completed on 7 February at a cost of £125,000.
The new class of lifeboat, the Atlantic 85, B811 Hylton Burdon was placed on service on Tuesday 9 January. This lifeboat was provided by the generous bequest of Mr Hylton Burdon. Lifeboat B591 has been withdrawn.
2011An Exceptional First Aid Certificate was awarded to crew members Ross Dun and Grahame Wood for their treatment of a seriously injured and unconscious man on 15 June 2011. He had fallen amongst rocks in an inaccessible location and as well as his serious injuries, was at risk from the sea breaking over the rocks.
2012Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum was accorded to Helmsman Robert Oliver in recognition of his judgement, seamanship skill and leadership, framed Letters of Thanks signed by the Chairman of the Institution were awarded to crew members Grahame Wood and Stephen Potts in recognition of the service when the inshore lifeboat saved a boy who had been swept into the sea at Brown’s Bay, Cullercoats on the afternoon of 26 October 2011. Access to the area was restricted by an off shore reef. Three to four metre seas reflected off the promenade wall were meeting the broken water coming over the reef. There would only be one chance to succeed, and despite the severe risk the lifeboat recovered the boy and exited the bay through breaking seas in the narrows to the north. The boy was landed at the lifeboat station and airlifted to hospital.
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.