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Ilfracombe Lifeboat Station

Ilfracombe Lifeboat Station

Covering part of the north Devon coast, Ilfracombe has celebrated nearly 180 years as a lifeboat station. The two lifeboats carry out a wide variety of shouts and four Medals for gallantry have been awarded.

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. 

 

Recent launches from this station

Date Time
27/09/2014 11:12
06/09/2014 17:13
26/08/2014 13:43
23/08/2014 18:10
16/08/2014 18:16
12/08/2014 17:46
03/08/2014 13:56
02/08/2014 20:32
31/07/2014 18:19
29/07/2014 18:21

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Station address:

Ilfracombe Lifeboat Station
The Lifeboat House
14 Broad Street
Ilfracombe
Devon
EX34 9EE

Station telephone:

01271 863771

Station opening times:

10am–4pm Monday–Thursday

Visitor contact:

Leigh Hanks

Visitor contact telephone:

01271 863771

Shop telephone:

01271 879405

Shop opening times:

March 
Monday–Sunday
11am–3pm

April–October

Monday–Sunday
10.30am–4.30pm

November–December
Monday–Sunday
11am–3pm

 

 

 

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.

 

  • Ilfracombe RNLI accepting cheque from Echo Beach

    Ilfracombe RNLI accepting cheque from Echo Beach

  • Ilfracombe RNLI accepting cheque for Rescue Day

    Ilfracombe RNLI accepting cheque for Rescue Day

  • Ilfracombe lifeboat station

    Ilfracombe lifeboat station

  • Ilfracombe RNLI assists in refloating yacht aground in Lee Bay

    Ilfracombe RNLI assists in refloating yacht aground in Lee Bay

  • Ilfracombe RNLI assists in refloating yacht

    Ilfracombe RNLI assists in refloating yacht

  • Inshore lifeboat Deborah Brown II heading for the scene this evening

    The lifeboat heading for the scene

  • The arrival of the inshore lifeboat back at the slipway with Ben Bengey aboard

    The arrival of the inshore lifeboat back at the slipway with Ben Bengey aboard

  • The dinghy being recovered onto the Mersey class all-weather lifeboat Spirit of Derbyshire during the shout.

    Ilfracombe RNLI volunteers recovering the dinghy

  • Photograph showing the launch of the inshore lifeboat Deborah Brown II on the first of the afternoon’s services.

    The launch of the inshore lifeboat

  • Newquay stakeholders at Respect the water launch at Fistral

    Newquay stakeholders at Respect the water launch at Fistral

  • RNLI Lifeguard Warren Llewellyn and Tim Stokes launch Respect the Water

    RNLI Lifeguard Warren Llewellyn and Tim Stokes

  • The D-class inshore lifeboat Deborah Brown II as she left Ilfracombe Harbour en route to the casualty.

    The inshore lifeboat leaving Ilfracombe Harbour

  • The volunteer lifeboat crew preparing to return the swimmer to Hele Bay.

    The volunteer lifeboat crew preparing to return the swimmer to Hele Bay.

  • The swimmer being transferred to the lifeboat.

    The swimmer being transferred to the lifeboat.

  • Volunteer Coxswain Andrew Bengey with new volunteer crew member Amy Wigley on the bow of the all-weather lifeboat following her first shout as crew

    New crew member Amy Wigley with Coxswain Andrew Bengey

  • The man and his dog with Matthew Simpson and Andrew Day, volunteer crew members aboard the inshore lifeboat, with the Mersey class all-weather lifeboat visible in the background.

    The casualties aboard the inshore lifeboat

  • The inshore lifeboat, Deborah Brown II, with the casualties aboard, showing the fast disappearing beach they had been on.

    The inshore lifeboat once the casualties were aboard

  • Ilfracombe RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew aboard the charity's D-class inshore lifeboat

    Ilfracombe RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew

  • Volunteer crew member Andy Day taking the details of the casualties during the shout last night (Thursday 5 June)

    Volunteer crew member Andy Day as he takes details from the group on Rapparee Beach

  • During the rescue on Thursday evening (5 June), volunteer crew member Nick Waites escorted the seven casualties over the rocks at Broadstrand Beach to the safety of Rapparee Cove

    Volunteer crew member Nick Waites escorting the group over the rocks to safety.

  • Volunteer Ilfracombe RNLI crew member Ben Bengey standing outside the RNLI College, Poole, during his recent training course.

    Ben Bengey at the RNLI College, Poole

  • The crew of the Mersey class all-weather lifeboat Spirit of Derbyshire as they put the kayak ashore at Lynmouth Harbour

    The volunteer lifeboat crew during the rescue

  • Ilfracombe RNLI volunteer crew members visit Yellow Day participating location Strands Wine Bar

    Volunteer crew members at Strands Wine Bar

  • Ilfracombe RNLI volunteer crew members visit Yellow Day participating location St James Tea Room

    Volunteer crew members at St James Tea Room

  • Ilfracombe RNLI volunteer crew members visit Yellow Day participating location Ilfracombe's Indoor Market.

    Volunteer crew at Ilfracombe's Indoor Market

  • The all-weather lifeboat, Spirit of Derbyshire, launched on service

    The all-weather lifeboat, Spirit of Derbyshire, launched on service

  • The inshore lifeboat, Deborah Brown II, as she launched on this service

    The inshore lifeboat, Deborah Brown II, as she launched on this service

  • Ilfracombe RNLI volunteer crew and fundraisers with Stormy Stan, showing the £100,000 total raised towards the new launch and recovery vehicle due on station next year

    Ilfracombe RNLI volunteer crew and fundraisers with Stormy Stan, showing the £100,000 total raised i

  • Ilfracombe RNLI’s inshore lifeboat Deborah Brown II during a training exercise

    Deborah Brown II

  • A screen shot from the Ilfracombe Harbour webcam www.ilfracombewebcam.com, showing the inshore lifeboat, Deborah Brown II, towing the casualty vessel towards the slipway at Ilfracombe Harbour

    The casualty vessel being towed to the slipway

  • The Easter Eggvent 2014 poster

    The Easter Eggvent 2014 poster

  • Stormy Stan, the Easter Bunny and the Ilfracombe RNLI teddy with volunteer crew members Alex Welch and Nigel Fairchild aboard the inshore lifeboat Deborah Brown II at the 2013 event.

    The Easter Bunny and friends at the Easter Eggvent 2013

  • Volunteer crew members from Ilfracombe RNLI busy washing cars at the 2013 SOS car wash event

    Volunteer crew members at last year's event

  • The search and rescue helicopter from RMB Chivenor preparing to take the casualty on board. Taken from Ilfracombe RNLI's inshore lifeboat.

    The search and rescue helicopter preparing to winch the casualty on board.

  • Swanages's current Mersey class lifeboat and the RNLI's new Shannon class lifeboat of which Swanage is to receive in 2015

    Swanage's Mersey class RNLI lifeboat and new Shannon class

  • Weston super Mare and Portishead RNLI lifeguards at launch of Bristol Channel Appeal

    Weston super Mare and Portishead lifeboats

  • The Lizard Tamar lifeboat Rose launching

    The Lizard all weather lifeboat launching

  • Mick French fundraiser who turns on Christmas lights for RNLI

    Mick French who turns on Xmas lights for RNLI

  • Swimmers at Looe braved the cold waters on New Years Day 2013 to raise funds for RNLI

    Swimmers braving the cold water at Looe on New Years Day

  • The Mersey class all-weather lifeboat Lifetime Care coming alongside the harbour in Lynmouth, with the help of the local coastguard team.

    The Mersey class all-weather lifeboat Lifetime Care at Lynmouth Harbour

  • The D-class inshore lifeboat, Deborah Brown II, alongside the Mersey class lifeboat Lifetime Care, following the transfer of the casualties during the rescue.

    D-class inshore lifeboat Deborah Brown II alongside the Mersey during the rescue

  • A photograph showing the yacht Kenja with crew members Ben Langham and Andy Day aboard and the rough sea conditions.

    The rough conditions on the shout this morning

  • Volunteer helmsman Leigh Hanks in control of D-class inshore lifeboat Deborah Brown II in the rough conditions this morning

    Helmsman Leigh Hanks aboard Deborah Brown II

  • A photograph showing crew members Ben Langham and Andy Day aboard the yacht Kenja attempting to recover the anchor

    Yacht Kenja being assisted by crew members

  • Ilfracombe Lifeboat Station personnel receiving the cheque from Councillor Philip Webb. Picture shows (left to right) Station President Jean Boyles, Councillor Philip Webb, Coxswain Andrew Bengey and LMG Chair Ann Clemence

    Philip Webb presenting the donation to Ilfracombe Lifeboat Station

  • The crew of inshore lifeboat Deborah Brown II as they rescued the casualty from the water in the outer harbour. Photo taken by a passenger on board a nearby vessel

    Ilfracombe rescue upside down man

  • The crew of inshore lifeboat Deborah Brown II as they rescued the casualty from the water in the outer harbour. Photo taken by a passenger on board a nearby vessel.

    Inshore lifeboat crew rescuing the casualty from the water

  • Plymouth RNLI assist dismasted yacht August 2013

    Plymouth RNLI assist dismasted yacht

  • Screen grab from footage of RNLI rescuing three exhausted swimmers at Mawgan Porth August 2013

    RNLI lifeguards rescue three exhausted swimmers at Mawgan Porth

  • Ilfracombe RNLI’s D-class inshore lifeboat Deborah Brown II, with Minehead RNLI’s Atlantic 85 in the background

    Ilfracombe and Minehead lifeboat crews work together

  • The Ilfracombe RNLI all-weather lifeboat, Mersey class Spirit of Derbyshire, aiding yacht Tanglin onto a mooring in Ilfracombe's outer harbour

    Yacht Tanglin in Ilfracombe's outer harbour

  • Volunteer crew member Ben Langham aboard the casualty vessel Zenquest, aboard the ketch.

    Ben aboard Zenquest

  • Volunteer Coxswain Andrew Bengey aboard the all-weather lifeboat Spirit of Derbyshire during yesterday’s rescue

    Volunteer Coxswain Andrew Bengey

  • The launch of all-weather lifeboat Spirit of Derbyshire to the aid of ketch Zenquest.

    Launch of all-weather lifeboat to ketch Zenquest

  • Ilfracombe RNLI’s Mersey class all-weather lifeboat Spirit of Derbyshire, immediately after the search had ended.

    All-weather lifeboat Spirit of Derbyshire

  • Ilfracombe RNLI’s Deborah Brown II, immediately after the search had ended.

    Inshore lifeboat Deborah Brown II

  • The D-class inshore lifeboat giving aid to the yacht Maia of Dart, in the outer harbour at Ilfracombe

    Maia of Dart with the inshore lifeboat

  • The two Ilfracombe RNLI volunteer crew members on the rocks with the boys, the inshore lifeboat Deborah Brown II coming back in and the ex-RNLI lifeboat Hampshire Rose standing by.

    Teenagers being taken from rocks

  • Volunteer crew members Lucy Tucker and Andrew Maslen aboard the casualty vessel Lucky Livy.

    Ilfracombe RNLI crew aboard Lucky Livy

  • The inshore lifeboat, Deborah Brown II during the rescue display performed during the event.

    The D-class inshore lifeboat Deborah Brown II

  • The Mersey class all-weather lifeboat Spirit of Derbyshire coming alongside the slipway for the public to go aboard during the event.

    The Mersey class all-weather lifeboat Spirit of Derbyshire

  • Tim Mansell, South West Divisional Operations Manager for the RNLI, in the stocks at the Summer Splash event, with volunteer crew members (left to right) Nick Waites, Ben Langham, Becky Hutson and Duncan Thomson.

    The stocks at Summer Splash

  • Inshore lifeboat Deborah Brown II assisting the motor boat, which had run out of fuel

    The inshore lifeboat with the casualty vessel

  • All-weather lifeboat Spirit of Derbyshire towing the yacht Drifter to Watermouth Harbour. L-R volunteer Coxswain Andrew Bengey, crew member Gillian Cole and 2nd Coxswain Carl Perrin.

    Yacht Drifter being towed into Watermouth Harbour

  • Deborah Brown II and her volunteer crew towing the stricken jet ski into Ilfracombe Harbour

    Jetski towed into Ilfracombe Harbour

  • RNLI new Shannon all weather lifeboat at Exmouth with launch and recover vehicle

    RNLI new Shannon Class lifeboat and launch and recovery vehicle

  • Fisherman calls into say thank you to Ilfracombe RNLI lifeboat crew for saving his life

    Fisherman calls into say thank you to Ilfracombe RNLI lifeboat crew for saving his life

  • Ilfracombe RNLI Inshore Lifeboat

    Ilfracombe RNLI Inshore Lifeboat

  • Ilfracombe RNLI inshore lifeboat D717 officially named

    Ilfracombe RNLI inshore lifeboat D717 officially named-2

  • Ilfracombe RNLI inshore lifeboat D717 officially named

    Ilfracombe RNLI inshore lifeboat D717 officially named-1

  • Ilfracombe RNLI inshore lifeboat D717 officially named

    Ilfracombe RNLI inshore lifeboat D717 officially named

  • Ilfracombe RNLI all-weather Lifeboat tows 28ft yacht with 2 crew to safety

    Ilfracombe RNLI all-weather Lifeboat tows 28ft yacht with 2 crew to safety

  • The liferaft is handled by the volunteer crew of the Ilfracombe all-weather lifeboat.

    The Ilfracombe all-weather crew with the raft

  • The volunteer crew of the Ilfracombe D class inshore lifeboat recover the liferaft.

    D class volunteers with liferaft

  • Ilfracombe RNLI Inshore Lifeboat Deborah Brown carries out her last rescue

    Ilfracombe RNLI Inshore Lifeboat Deborah Brown carries out her last rescue

  • Driftwood Gallery raises money for Ilfracombe RNLI Lifeboat

    Driftwood Gallery raises money for Ilfracombe RNLI Lifeboat-3

  • Driftwood Gallery raises money for Ilfracombe RNLI Lifeboat

    Driftwood Gallery raises money for Ilfracombe RNLI Lifeboat-2

  • Driftwood Gallery raises money for Ilfracombe RNLI Lifeboat

    Driftwood Gallery raises money for Ilfracombe RNLI Lifeboat-1

  • Driftwood Gallery raises money for Ilfracombe RNLI Lifeboat

    Driftwood Gallery raises money for Ilfracombe RNLI Lifeboat

  • Ilfracombe RNLI inshore lifeboat carries out 3 rescues in 3 days

    Ilfracombe RNLI inshore lifeboat carries out 3 rescues in 3 days

  • Ilfracombe RNLI Lifeboat rescues 2 Kayakers off the North Devon coast

    Ilfracombe RNLI Lifeboat rescues 2 Kayakers off the North Devon coast

  • Ilfracombe RNLI lifeboat launches to assist 42ft yacht

    Ilfracombe RNLI lifeboat launches to assist 42ft yacht

  • Ilfracombe RNLI all-weather lifeboat launched to a yacht reported drifting

    Ilfracombe RNLI all-weather lifeboat launched to a yacht reported drifting

  • Three callouts at midsummer weekend for Appledore RNLI

    Three callouts at midsummer weekend for Appledore RNLI

  • Ilfracombe RNLI Lifeboat launches to assist 36ft yacht

    Ilfracombe RNLI Lifeboat launches to assist 36ft yacht

  • Ilfracombe RNLI Inshore Lifeboat launches to assist 21ft yacht

    Ilfracombe RNLI Inshore Lifeboat launches to assist 21ft yacht

  • Ilfracombe RNLI Lifeboat launches to assist 32ft motor cruiser

    Ilfracombe RNLI Lifeboat launches to assist 32ft motor cruiser

  • Ilfracombe RNLI inshore lifeboat rescues a family from a toy inflatable dinghy

    Ilfracombe RNLI inshore lifeboat rescues a family from a toy inflatable dinghy

  • Ilfracombe and Appledore RNLI Lifeboats launch to assist 60ft trawler

    Ilfracombe and Appledore RNLI Lifeboats launch to assist 60ft trawler

  • Image of the RNLI's new all weather Shannon Class lifeboat

    RNLI Shannon Class all weather lifeboat

  • Barry bows out after 20 years service with the RNLI in the south west

    Barry bows out after 20 years service with the RNLI in the south west-2

  • Barry bows out after 20 years service with the RNLI in the south west

    Barry bows out after 20 years service with the RNLI in the south west-1

  • Barry bows out after 20 years service with the RNLI in the south west

    Barry bows out after 20 years service with the RNLI in the south west

  • Ilfracombe's RNLI lifeboat Spirit of Derbyshire being recovered onto the beach at Ilfracombe harbour prior to loading onto the carriage.

    Ilfracombe's RNLI lifeboat being recovered

  • Ilfracombe's RNLI lifeboat returning fishing vessel Nemo to harbour after it lost all power

    Ilfracombe RNLI's all weather lifeboat returning fishing vessel Nemo to harbour

  • Ilfracombe RNLI volunteer crew members launching the D-class lifeboat Deborah Brown II during a shout to a 13 year old girl cut off by the tide

    Ilfracombe's RNLI D Class RNLI lifeboat being launched

  • The team at Ilfracombe RNLI busy soaping saloons to raise money for a launch and recovery vehcile for the new Shannon class lifeboat they will eventually be receiving.

    Stormy Stan helps soap saloons for the RNLI

  • (from left to right) Colin Knill, Maurice Bush, Dave Page who is the RNLI Regional Technical Manager, Bob Thompson, Chris Wallis and David ‘Dinky’ Millman.

    (from left to right) Colin Knill, Maurice Bush, Dave Page who is the RNLI Regional Technical Manager

  • On call over Christmas for the south west’s RNLI volunteers

    On call over Christmas for the south west’s RNLI volunteers-5

  • On call over Christmas for the south west’s RNLI volunteers

    On call over Christmas for the south west’s RNLI volunteers-4

 

Image of lifeboat
 

Lifeboat name: Spirit of Derbyshire

Lifeboat class: Mersey class

Funded by: the Spirit of Derbyshire lifeboat appeal, a special appeal organised by the Ilfracombe station branch together with other gifts and legacies

Read more about the Mersey


Image of lifeboat



Lifeboat name:
Deborah Brown II

Lifeboat class: D class

Funded by: Appeal of Mr Paul Brown in memory of his wife

Read more about the D class
 

Established in 1828 under local management, the Institution contributing to the cost of the first boat.  The station would appear to have subsequently lapsed as the local residents requested the Institution to place a boat there in 1866.

1866
Lifeboat house constructed at a cost of £180.

1875
Silver Medal (Second Service Clasp) awarded to Captain C Gray-Jones RN, Second Assistant Inspector of Lifeboats in admiration of his valuable and skilful services in the Ilfracombe lifeboat on 16 December 1874, when the lifeboat rescued the crew of seven of the Brig Annie Arby and also for rushing into the sea and helping to save the Master of the smack Charlotte of Padstow which was wrecked in Widemouth Bay on the 6 December 1874.

1893
New lifeboat house constructed at a cost of £360.

1894
At a launch of the lifeboat on service one of the boathouse doors fell on John Pollard who was seriously injured.

1895
A retired lifeboat man Richard Souch and his son Frederick, a current crew member, were both killed on 2 October 1895 attempting to save, in a small boat, the crew of 4 of the Ketch Arabella which had been driven ashore in a severe storm.  The Arabella crew all perished too.

1930
A Centenary Vellum awarded to station.

1950
Silver Medal awarded to Coxswain Cecil G Irwin Ilfracombe lifeboat and Coxswain Sidney Cann Appledore lifeboat, for the rescue of 23 of the crew of the Spanish steamer Monte Gurugu that sank south of Lundy Island in a full north-westerly gale and tremendous seas on 13 November 1949.  The lifeboat launched at 0718 and progressed to Woolacombe Bay where at 0900, after spotting the casualty, Coxswain Irwin took the lifeboat between the ships boat and the breakers which were only 10 yards away and rescued 23 men.

1971
Coxswain E E Williams awarded BEM in Birthday Honours List.

1975
Bronze Medal awarded to Martin Ruddy, a 14 year old Scout from Ilfracombe for the rescue of four people and a dog from a sinking speedboat on 7 June.  He was also presented with an inscribed wristwatch.  The rescue was carried out in a 9ft dinghy in dangerous waters.

1978
Awarded to station a celebration 150th Anniversary Vellum.

1981
A Framed Letter of Thanks signed by the Chairman of the Institution, The Duke of Atholl, awarded to Coxswain David Clemence for his leadership and tenacity when the lifeboat was launched under very difficult conditions and searched very close to a lee shore for a young man and a boy who had jumped overboard from the yacht Springtide on 25 April.

1984
Bronze Medal awarded to Coxswain David Clemence in recognition of his courage, leadership and seamanship when the lifeboat Lloyds II rescued a crew member, landed a body and saved the yacht Liberty, which was dragging her anchor and being swept towards rocks in a north-westerly gale and a very rough sea on 9 September.

New tractor house constructed in Cove car park to house the station’s launching tractor.

1990
The boathouse was adapted to accommodate the new Mersey Class lifeboat.

1991
A D class lifeboat sent to station for one season’s operational evaluation.

On 27 November the Executive Committee approved the permanent establishment of a D class lifeboat station.

1994
Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum was accorded to Coxswain/Mechanic Andrew Putt in recognition of his skill, seamanship and leadership when in winds gusting to Force 10 and very steep seas the Spirit of Derbyshire lifeboat assisted in the rescue of two people from the fishing vessel Torridge Warrior on 31 March.  The Ilfracombe lifeboat met up with the Appledore lifeboat and the casualty two miles west north west of Morte Point and took over the tow.

1996
A new boathouse constructed for the housing of the Mersey and D class lifeboats and launching tractor.  It also contains improved crew facilities.

2000
The new station D class lifeboat D555 Deborah Brown was placed on service on Thursday August 2000.  The new lifeboat has been funded by a special appeal organised by Mr Paul Brown of London in memory of his wife Deborah.

A Framed Letter of Thanks signed by the Chairman of the Institution Mr Peter Nicholson, was presented to Coxswain Andrew Bengey.  Third Mechanic Leigh Hanks and crew member Martin Embrey received Directors letters and all the remaining crew received letters signed by the Chief of Operations for the landing of the crew of two, and a dog, and the bringing in of a yacht on 10 October.  The yacht had her sails still set but was out of control in four to five metre breaking seas, 40 to 50 knot winds and frequent squalls of heavy rain.

2009
The new station 85 D class lifeboat D-717 Deborah Brown II was placed on service on 28 August. This lifeboat was provided by funds raised by Mr Paul Brown, in memory of his late wife.

MEDAL RECORD
Four medals have been awarded, two Silver and two Bronze, the last being voted in 1984.

FOREIGN AWARD
The Spanish Society for Saving the Shipwrecked in 1950, awarded its Silver Prize Medal to Coxswain Irwin and a Diploma of Merit to the lifeboat crew re service to ss Monte Gurugu on 13/11/49 when the lifeboat rescued 23.