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Eastbourne Lifeboat Station

Eastbourne Lifeboat Station Boat, Diamond Jubilee

Eastbourne has celebrated over 180 years as a lifeboat station. Notable events include taking part in the evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force from Dunkirk in 1940 and being awarded 10 Medals for gallantry, the last in 2003.

​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 the stations website

Recent launches from this station

Date Time
19/08/2014 17:07
16/08/2014 14:39
15/08/2014 17:59
10/08/2014 20:15
10/08/2014 16:23
10/08/2014 16:20
08/08/2014 16:52
03/08/2014 18:25
02/08/2014 15:06
01/08/2014 16:39

Latest news from this station

  • Frantic weekend for Eastbourne lifeboats

    Frantic weekend for Eastbourne lifeboats

    17-06-2014

    Any thought of a restful weekend with the family was quickly dispelled for the volunteer crew of Eastbourne lifeboats when they were called into service on no less than 8 occasions

  • Eastbourne lifeboat rescues anglers

    Eastbourne lifeboat rescues anglers

    16-06-2014

    Eastbourne RNLI’s inshore lifeboat went to the assistance of two anglers this morning when their 17ft boat suffered engine failure

  • Midnight rescue by Eastbourne Lifeboat

    Midnight rescue by Eastbourne Lifeboat

    04-06-2014

    Eastbourne’s all-weather lifeboat went to the assistance of a 28ft yacht with engine failure last night (30/31 May) which was attempting to cross the busy shipping lanes fifteen miles offshore with three people on board.

See more news for Eastbourne Lifeboat Station

Station location

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Forecasts for Eastbourne Lifeboat Station

Station address:

Eastbourne Lifeboat Station
Sovereign Harbour Marina
Pevensey Bay Road
Eastbourne
East Sussex
BN23 6JH

Station telephone:

01323 470206

Station opening times:

By appointment only

Accessibility:

Parking

Visitor contact:

Mark Sawyer

Visitor contact telephone:

01323 470206

Shop telephone:

01323 730717

Shop opening times:

January–February
Monday–Sunday
10am–3pm

March
Monday–Sunday
10am–4pm

April–October
Monday–Sunday
10am–5pm

NovemberDecemberber
Monday–Sunday
10am–4pm

  

Appledore ILB crew members. Left to right, Martin Davis, Gary Stanbury and Andrew HalletSpecific 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.

 

  • Bob Jeffery

    Bob Jeffery

  • RNLI Lifeboats tackle fire on Eastbourne pier

    Eastbourne Pier Fire

  • Bob Jeffery

    Bob Jeffery

  • Motor cruiser aground at the entrance to Sovereign Harbour Eastbourne

    Motor cruiser aground off Eastbourne

  • Bob Jeffery

    Bob Jeffery

  • Casualty vessel being towed back to Sovereign Harbour

    Casualty returning to Harbour

  • Bob Jeffery

    Bob Jeffery

  • Rescued anglers are taken to the safety of the locks at Sovereign Harbour

    ILB Returns anglers to Harbour

  • Bob

    Bob

  • Windsurfer is rescued by Eastbourne RNLI following an equipment failure

    Rescue of Windsurfer

  • Bob Jeffery

    Bob Jeffery

  • Casualty yacht being ushered into Sovereign Harbour

    Casualty yacht being ushered into Sovereign Harbour

  • Bob Jeffery

    Bob

  • Shipping container's steel doors partially sunken 18 miles offshore

    Sunken container doors

  • Dredger Sand Fulmar who stood by sunken object

    Dredger Sand Fulmar

  • Bob Jeffery

    Bob Jeffery

  • Azura which stood by and relayed communications

    Azura

  • Bob Jeffery

    Bob Jeffery

  • Eastbourne lifeboats off Holywell

    Eastbourne lifeboats off Holywell

  • Bob Jeffery

    Bob Jeffery

  • Canon Bob Butler is presented to the Earl and Countess of Wessex at the naming ceremony of Eastbourne RNLI's new lifeboat Diamond Jubilee in 2012

    Cannon Bob Butler meets the Earl and Countess of Wessex

  • Special presentation to two men who have contributed over 80 years service to Eastbourne Lifeboats

    Presentation to Lifeboat veterans

  • Bob Jeffery

    Bob Jeffery

  • Disabled yacht under tow by Eastbourne all-weather lifeboat entering harbour

    Disabled yacht returned to safety

  • Bob Jeffery

    Bob Jeffery

  • Swimmers from Bede's School presenting their cheque to Lifeboat Operations Manager Paul Metcalfe

    Presentation aboard Diamond Jubilee

  • 40 year long service badge awarded to Dick Guy

    40 Long Service badge

  • Richard (Dick) Guy has been awarded one of the RNLI’s rarest awards for long service to commemorate 40 years of continuous service with Eastbourne lifeboats.

    Dick Guy recieving his award

  • The Chairman of East Sussex County Council, Councillor Colin Belsey, at the helm of Diamond Jubilee

    Councillor Belsey at the helm

  • Bob Jeffery

    Bob Jeffery

  • The Chairman of East Sussex County Council, Councillor Colin Belsey, at the helm of Diamond Jubilee

    Councellor Belsey at the helm

  • Deputy Second Coxswain Ian Stringer receives his 'Good Neighbour/Unsung Hero' award from Councillor Colin Belsey

    Ian Stringer recieving his award

  • Bob Jeffery

    Bob Jeffery

  • Passing tow from lifeboat to workboat in outer harbour

    Passing tow to workboat

  • Stricken yacht under tow approaching Sovereign Harbour

    Stricken Yacht under tow

  • Bob

    Bob Jeffery

  • Award winner Paul Rogers and his long suffering family

    Paul and Family

  • 20 Year service award for Eastbourne RNLI crewman

    Eastbourne Crewman Recieving ward

  • Bob Jeffery

    Bob Jeffery

  • Bob Jeffery

    Bob Jeffery

  • ILB in action off Eastbourne

    Eastbourne Inshore Lifeboat

  • ILB off Eastbourne

    Eastbourne Inshore Lifeboat

  • Bob Jeffery

    Bob Jeffery

  • Casualty care being administered while lifeboat steams back to harbour

    Crewman Richard Larmour administers first aid to casualty

  • Bob Jeffery

    Bob Jeffery

  • Frank Wellbelove presenting his cheque to Paul Metcalfe and Mark Sawyer

    Frank presenting his cheque

  • Bob Jeffery

    Bob Jeffery

  • Coxswain Mark Sawyer with cheque from the Historic Vehicle Club

    Charity representatives at the cheque presentation

  • .

    2013 stats inforgraphic

  • Bob

    Bob Jeffery

  • Crew returning their ILB to carriage after service call

    ILB Crew returning to station

  • Bob Jeffery

    Bob Jeffery

  • 'Spud' with some of his colleagues after his last exercise launch

    'Spud' with some of his colleagues

  • Keith at the helm of Diamond Jubilee off Beachy Head

    'Spuds' last trip

  • Bob Jeffery

    Bob

  • Jamie and Luke at Beachy Head

    Jamie and Luke at Beachy Head

  • Jamie and Luke with their medals aboard Diamond Jubilee

    Jamie and Luke Regan

  • Bob Jeffery

    Bob Jeffery

  • Crew and supporters sing Carols at Sovereign Harbour

    Carols with the Crew

  • Bob Jeffery

    Bob Jeffery

  • Tina's House

    Tina's House

  • Tina with Father Christmas and Coxswain Mark Sawyer

    Tina with Father Christmas & Coxswain Mark Sawyer

  • Bob Jeffery

    Bob Jeffery

  • Crewman aboard casualty vessel attaching tow

    Eastbourne ALB in attendance

  • Bob Jeffery

    Bob Jeffery

  • Transfer exercise with coastguard rescue helicopter off Eastbourne

    Transfer exercise

  • Bob Jeffery

    Bob Jeffery

  • Eastbourne RNLI's all-weather lifeboat in action off Beachy Head

    ALB off Beachy Head

  • Bob Jeffery

    Bob

  • Eastbourne's all-weather lifeboat Diamond Jubilee

    Eastbourne all-weather lifeboat

  • Bob Jeffery

    Bob

  • Disabled Sports-boat off Eastbourne

    Disabled Sports-boat

  • Bob

    Bob Jeffery

  • Second Coxswain Ian Stringer cuts cruiser free

    Crewman frees trapped cruiser

  • Bob Jeffery

    Bob

  • Stricken vessel being returned to the safety of the locks at Sovereign Harbour

    Yacht recovered to Sovereign Harbour

  • Bob

    Bob Jeffery

  • Eastbourne lifeboat assisting stricken yacht

    Eastbourne lifeboat on scene

  • Bob Jeffery

    Bob

  • Disabled jet ski under tow by Eastbourne ALB

    Jet Ski under tow

  • Eastbourne's all weather lifeboat returns stricken vessel to Sovereign Harbour

    ALB returns casualty to harbour

  • Bob

    Bob Jeffery

  • Bob Jeffery

    Bob

  • Frank Wellbelove receiving his framed letter of appreciation

    Frank Wellbelove

  • Bob Jeffery

    Bob

  • Bob Jeffery

    Bob

  • ILB expertly beached in choppy sea conditions following service call

    Eastbourne ILB

  • Bob

    Bob

  • Eastbourne all weather lifeboat releasing yacht from fishing gear

    ALB releasing yacht from fishing gear

  • Bob

    Bob

  • Both boats off Eastbourne

    Both boats off Eastbourne

  • Bob Jeffery

    Bob

  • Eastbourne team with their letter from Michael Vlasto

    Eastbourne Crew

  • Ian receiving his 30 year long service award

    Ian Stringer

  • Bob Jeffery

    Bob

  • Bob Jeffery

    Bob

  • Crew transfer to stricken angling boat

    Transfer of crewman

  • Bob Jeffery

    Bob

  • Cruiser being towed off mud by Eastbourne RNLI

    Cruiser off Eastbourne

  • Yacht being returned to harbour by Eastbourne RNLI

    Yacht being towed to safety

 

Image of lifeboat
 

Lifeboat name: The Royal Thames

Lifeboat class: Mersey Class

Funded by: Appeal to members of the Royal Thames Y.C., local appeal, generous anon gift + gifts / legacies

Read more about the Mersey

 

Image of lifeboat

 

Lifeboat name: Laurence and Percy Hobbs

Lifeboat class: D Class

Read more about the D Class

 

 

 

A station was established in Eastbourne in 1822, two years before the Royal National Lifeboat Institution itself was founded.  The first boat was provided by Mr John Fuller MP of Rose Hill, Sussex.  When he died in 1833 he left the boat "To the inhabitants of Eastbourne".  She was built in Eastbourne by Mr Simpson, was 25ft long and pulling ten oars.

The Institution did not take over the station until 1853.  Between 1903 and 1924 two boats were stationed there.

Eastbourne has the first permanent lifeboat museum, being opened in 1937.  It is housed in what was originally a lifeboat house and was used as such for 26 years.  It was built in 1898 as the William Terriss Memorial Lifeboat House in memory of the famous actor, out of a fund raised by the Daily Telegraph.

1824
Gold Medal awarded to Lieut J Clark RN for the rescue of six people from the brig Juno was wrecked in a storm at Birling Gap, near Beachy Head on 18 November 1824.

1840
Silver Medal awarded to Lieut H Blair RN for the rescue by Manby Apparatus of four men from a French Lugger that was wrecked at Birling Gap, on 3 July 1840 in a severe gale.

1843
Silver Medal awarded to Lieut J A Gilson RN for the rescue of four seamen by boat from the Schooner L'Unione Fortunata wrecked near Beachy Head on 28 January 1843.

1845
The South Holland Society for Saving the Shipwrecked presented each member of the crew with a Silver Medal and diploma in English for a service to a Dutch East-Indiaman in December, in which the lifeboat rescued the master and nine seamen.

1880
Whilst the new lifeboat was being drawn through the streets a small boy, Ernest Best, had his foot so badly crushed that it had to be amputated.  The donor of the lifeboat undertook to pay all medical expenses.  The Committee of Management placed £50 to the boy's credit.

1883
On Sunday, 25 November in the teeth of a gale and pouring rain, the lifeboat was taken to Birling Gap overland and rescued the crew of 11 of the Barque New  Brunswick of Norway.  The journey took two and a half hours

1890
Bell placed on the coxswain's house for summoning crew.

1895
Gas service provided.

1902
Corrugated iron lifeboat house constructed at the Fishing Station at a cost of £400 to be used by the No 2 lifeboat, which arrived in 1903.  .

Whilst on service ss Southport on 8 November, two men were washed out of lifeboat; fortunately both were recovered

1903
Mortar supplied to No 1 station as bell could not always be heard.

1915
During the war, arrangements were made for co-operation with local motor boats; one proceeded to scene of casualty and another was to tow lifeboat.

1926
Bowman Harry Hendy died of epilepsy stated to be due to exposure on service.  He was a widower with two children who received the appropriate pension until they were 16.

1928
Centenary Vellum awarded.

1940
The lifeboat Jane Holland was one of the 19 lifeboats that took part in the evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force from Dunkirk.

Bronze Medals awarded to two members of the crew, Thomas Allchorn and Alec Huggett who went aboard the burning steamer Barnhill on 20/21 March 1940 to rescue the master after the lifeboat had previously taken off 28 of the crew.  The Barnhill, when in the Channel, approximately six miles off Beachy Head, had been attacked by German aircraft; a bomb had struck her amidships and set her on fire.

1955
The Bronze Second-Service Clasp awarded to Coxswain Allchorn for the rescue of 16 from the wreck of the ss Germania and the rescue of four from the salvage boats Moonbeam and Endeavour on 6 May 1955.  The Maud Smith award for the bravest act of life-saving by a member of a lifeboat crew was awarded to Coxswain Allchorn for the Germania rescue.

1964
D class lifeboat sent to station in May.

1966
The Thank of the Institution inscribed on Vellum accorded to Coxswain J Bassett for his courage, skill and seamanship when landing an injured keeper from the Beachy Head lighthouse on 11 May.  The keeper, who weighed 21 stone and who had injured his legs, was transferred to the lifeboat in a strong south-south-westerly wind and a rough sea.

1971
A 150th Anniversary Vellum awarded.

1979
The new lifeboat Duke of Kent was named by the Duke of Kent, President of the RNLI, on 3 July.

1983
Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum was accorded to crew member John D Cooper, in recognition of his meritorious action when on 11 May 1983, in a south westerly gale and a rough sea, he entered the water to right a capsized sailing dinghy, helped a woman and two children to re-board her, and when the dinghy capsized again swam beneath the sail with complete disregard for his safety to release a child who had become entangled in the halyards.  Framed Letters of Thanks signed by the Chairman of the Institution, the Duke of Athol, awarded to Helmsman Paul Metcalfe and crewmember Ian Stringer for the part they played in this service.

1987
Bronze Medal awarded to the Helmsman Ian Stringer, in recognition of the leadership and strength of purpose displayed by him when the lifeboat rescued three men, clinging to their 17ft Dory which had capsized off Beachy Head and was being driven towards the bottom of the cliffs in a moderate breeze and confused breaking seas on 9 December 1986.  The boat was assisting in the filming of a new James Bond film.  Crew member Derek P Tucker received the Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum in recognition of the extreme physical effort displayed by him on this occasion.

1990
A Framed Letter of Thanks signed by the Chairman of the Institution, Michael Vernon, was awarded to Coxswain/Mechanic Graham Cole for the support he gave with the lifeboat Duke of Kent on 23 June, to the crew of the inshore lifeboat who were in difficulties whilst on service to a car which had been driven over the cliffs east of Beachy Head Lighthouse.

1993
The all weather lifeboat moved to Sovereign Harbour.

The new Mersey class lifeboat ON1195 Royal Thames was named by Her Royal Highness Princess Michael of Kent in a special ceremony that took place at Sovereign Harbour Marina on Monday 6th September.

1994
New crew facilities completed at Sovereign Harbour.

1995
Work was carried out on the main boathouse in order to house the station's D class lifeboat.  Following completion of this work, the previous ILB boathouse was removed.

1997
Silver Medal awarded to the helmsman of the D class lifeboat, Ian Stringer, in recognition of the leadership and strength of purpose displayed by him when the lifeboat rescued, at great risk in very strong tidal conditions and turbulent sea, a man clinging to Eastbourne pier on 8 April 1997.  The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum awarded to crew member Gary Mead and Mr Tom Hobdel, Letters of Thanks signed by the Chairman of the Institution to crew members Mark Chessell, Dawn Mead and to Auxiliary Coastguard Stuart McNabb in recognition of their meritorious actions during this service.

2003
Silver Medal awarded to Coxswain Mark Sawyer and Bronze Medal to Mechanic Dan Guy in recognition of their courage and skill when the crew of two of the yacht Paperchase was saved on 20 October 2002.  The disabled yacht was in very shallow water at the entrance to Sovereign Harbour.  It was dark, the seas were very rough and the south-easterly winds were Force 8 and waves were breaking over the lifeboat as the two people were rescued and Mechanic Guy was washed into the sea, but held onto the man he was assisting.  Coxswain Sawyer received an award from the James Michael Bower Endowment Fund for this service as the only recipient of an RNLI Silver Medal for Gallantry during 2003.  The Shipwrecked Fishermen and Mariners’ Royal Benevolent Society awarded Coxswain Sawyer the Emile Robins Award for 2002/3 for this service.  This award goes to the Master/Coxswain of a British vessel who incurs the greatest peril in rescuing survivors at sea.

The new station D class lifeboat D605 Joan and Ted Wiseman 50 was placed on service on 15 August 2003. 

2009
Alterations to ALB facilities completed in March at a cost of £9,000.

2011
The new station D class lifeboat D Laurence and Percy Hobbs was placed on service on 8 December 2011.

2012
New Tamar class lifeboat ON1303 Diamond Jubilee was placed on service 27 June 2012. This lifeboat was funded by the Eastbourne RNLI new lifeboat appeal the legacy of Mr John Alan Jackson together with other gifts and legacies. Lifeboat ON1195 Royal Thames has been re-allocated.

WAR RECORD - 1939-1945
Lives rescued - 42
Launches - 22
Medals Two Bronze Medals awarded in 1940.  See above for details.

MEDAL RECORD
Ten medals – one Gold, four Silver and five Bronze, the last was voted in 2003.