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Rye Harbour Lifeboat Station

Photo of Rye Harbour Lifeboat Station

Today’s lifeboat station at Rye Harbour operates an inshore Atlantic 75 lifeboat. During its 165-year history Rye Harbour saw one of the worst lifeboat disasters in the RNLI’s history when 17 crew lost their lives in 1928.

​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?

 

Recent launches from this station

Date Time
13/07/2014 14:42
18/06/2014 18:15
19/05/2014 20:17
25/04/2014 19:25
03/04/2014 03:42
16/03/2014 10:12
21/10/2013 21:07
06/10/2013 13:02
03/09/2013 19:57
26/08/2013 16:47

Latest news from this station

See more news for Rye Harbour Lifeboat Station

Station location

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Forecasts for Rye Harbour Lifeboat Station

Station address:

Rye Harbour Lifeboat Station
Harbour Road
Rye Harbour
East Sussex
TN31 7TU

Station telephone:

01797 223693

Station opening times:

By appointment only

Accessibility:

Disabled access

Visitor contact:

Richard Tollett

Visitor contact telephone:

01797 223693

​Shop opening times:

From the first Sunday in April to the last Sunday in November
10am–2pm every Sunday

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.

  • The RNLI's Gold Badge with Bar

    RNLI's Gold Badge with Bar

  • .

    2013 stats inforgraphic

  • Photo of Jai Gidgion, Martin Phillips, Peter Drew and Sloan Phillips whilst in Charlotte, NC taking part in the major swift-water rescue training exercise

    RNLI Volunteers from Rye Harbour & Hastings

  • RNLI Lifeoat B-842 'Hello Herbie' towing casualty back to Rye Harbour

    RNLI Lifeboat B-842 towing casualty back to Rye

  • Guests at the presentation

    Guests at the presentation

  • Andrew Ashton presenting Richard Tollett with his certificate and Gold Badge with Bar

    Presentation of Certificate and Gold Badge with Bar

  • Photo of the RNLI's Gold Badge with Bar

    Gold Badge with Bar

  • Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat B-842 'Hello Herbie' alongside casualty

    Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat B-842 alongside casualty

  • Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat B-842 heading towards the casualty

    Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat B-842 'Hello Hebie' and Casualty

  • Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat B-842 'Hello Herbie' approaching jet ski hanging on the wall of the River Rother - just inside the harbour entrance.

    Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat B-842 'Hello Herbie' near hanging Jet Ski

  • Member of crew from Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat B-842 'Hello Herbie' attaching a tow line to broken down speedboat 'Mr Bump'

    Attaching the tow line

  • Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat B-842 'Hello Herbie' alongside broken down speedboat 'Mr Bump'

    Alongside broken down speedboat

  • Dog walker being put ahsore after being rescued from River Rother

    Put ashore after being rescued from river

  • Dog walker fall into river after slipped on seaweed on the eastern wall of the River Rother whilst getting dog out of the river

    Man clinging to Eastern wall of the River Rother

  • Lifeboat B-842 and crew patrolling off Camber Sands.

    Lifeboat B-842 'Hello Herbie' & Crew off Camber Sands

  • Swimmer heading back to shore after being advised of danger

    Swimming back to shore

  • Volunteer crew of Lifeboat B-842 'Hello Herbie' talking to the swimmer

    Talking to swimmer

  • The swimmer is spotted in the water by the crew of Lifeboat B-842 'Hello Herbie'

    Swimmer spotted

  • .

    Rye Harbour advise swimmer

  • .

    Swimmers at Rye Harbour

  • Dog jumps into the river Rother at Rye Harbour entrance

    Dog jumps into the river Rother at Rye Harbour entrance

  • Rye Harbour RNLI volunteers assist fishing vessel with steering failure

    Rye Harbour RNLI volunteers assist fishing vessel with steering failure-4

  • Rye Harbour RNLI volunteers assist fishing vessel with steering failure

    Rye Harbour RNLI volunteers assist fishing vessel with steering failure-3

  • Rye Harbour RNLI volunteers assist fishing vessel with steering failure

    Rye Harbour RNLI volunteers assist fishing vessel with steering failure-2

  • Rye Harbour RNLI volunteers assist fishing vessel with steering failure

    Rye Harbour RNLI volunteers assist fishing vessel with steering failure

  • Rye Harbour RNLI volunteers assist fishing vessel with steering failure

    Rye Harbour RNLI volunteers assist fishing vessel with steering failure-1

  • Rye Harbour RNLI Late Summer Ball 2009 - A Great Success

    Rye Harbour RNLI Late Summer Ball 2009 - A Great Success

  • New Deputy Launching Authority at Rye Harbour

    New Deputy Launching Authority at Rye Harbour

  • Rye Harbour villagers invited to honour RNLI ancestors who died on service

    Rye Harbour villagers invited to honour RNLI ancestors who died on service

  • Busy day for Rye Harbour RNLI lifeboat - seven missing persons

    Busy day for Rye Harbour RNLI lifeboat - seven missing persons

  • Rye Harbour RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew administer first aid to skippers face.

    Rye Harbour RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew administer first aid to skippers face.

  • Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat B727 assists the Dutch Yacht 'Sneeuwgans'

    Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat B727 assists the Dutch Yacht 'Sneeuwgans'

  • Sally Bayly, Fundraising Treasurer at Rye Harbour is awarded the RNLI's Bronze Badge

    Sally Bayly, Fundraising Treasurer at Rye Harbour is awarded the RNLI's Bronze Badge

  • Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat launches to the aid of broken down jet ski

    Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat launches to the aid of broken down jet ski

  • Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat launches to the angling boat 'Anya' 6.5 miles south east of Rye Harbour

    Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat launches to the angling boat 'Anya' 6.5 miles south east of Rye Harbour

  • Boat breaks down on maiden voyage

    Boat breaks down on maiden voyage

  • Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat launches to yacht with a broken mast

    Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat launches to yacht with a broken mast

  • Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat launches to the aid of broken down jet ski

    Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat launches to the aid of broken down jet ski

  • RNLI Chairman visits Rye Harbour Lifeboat station

    RNLI Chairman visits Rye Harbour Lifeboat station

  • Rye Harbour station open day a great success

    Rye Harbour station open day a great success

  • Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat Station Open Day 2009

    Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat Station Open Day 2009

  • 24 foot Yacht on fire on the River Rother

    24 foot Yacht on fire on the River Rother

  • Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat Station Open Day 2009

    Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat Station Open Day 2009

  • 24 foot Yacht on fire on the River Rother

    24 foot Yacht on fire on the River Rother

  • Rye Harbour RNLI receives £350 donation from Peasmarsh and District W.I. Choir

    Rye Harbour RNLI receives £350 donation from Peasmarsh and District W.I. Choir

  • RNLI Lifeboat launches to speedboat drifting half a mile off Fairlight

    RNLI Lifeboat launches to speedboat drifting half a mile off Fairlight

  • RNLI volunteers in the south east will be ready at the drop of a paper hat this Christmas

    RNLI volunteers in the south east will be ready at the drop of a paper hat this Christmas

  • Crowds gather at Rye Harbour RNLI for lifeboat naming ceremony

    Crowds gather at Rye Harbour RNLI for lifeboat naming ceremony

  • Hello Herbie goes to the aid of fishing boat

    Hello Herbie goes to the aid of fishing boat

  • RNLI Rye Harbour crew rescues dog from River Rother

    RNLI Rye Harbour crew rescues dog from River Rother

  • RNLI Rye Harbour crew rescues dog from River Rother

    RNLI Rye Harbour crew rescues dog from River Rother

  • Rye Harbour RNLI lifeboat 'Hello Herbie' launches to the broken down cabin cruiser 'Smuggler'

    Rye Harbour RNLI lifeboat 'Hello Herbie' launches to the broken down cabin cruiser 'Smuggler'

  • Rye Harbour offers help to capsized catamaran

    Rye Harbour offers help to capsized catamaran

  • Local windsurfer caught by a 50 knot wind assisted by Hayling Island RNLI

    A grateful local windsurfer rescued from 50 knot winds by Hayling Island crew

  • Sussex and Hampshire lifeboats launch over 700 times in year of poor weather

    Brighton crew battle tough conditions to save yachtsman by marina wall

  • Boat fire drama off Beachy Head

    Eastbourne assist in the rescue of a casualty from a cruiser on fire

  • Eastbourne Tamar lifeboat 'Diamond Jubilee' officially named by Royal couple

    Their Royal Highnesses the Earl and Countess of Wessex name Eastbourne's lifeboat 'Diamond Jubilee'

  • Eastbourne Tamar lifeboat 'Diamond Jubilee' officially named by Royal couple

    Their Royal Highnesses the Earl and Countess of Wessex name Eastbourne's 'Diamond Jubilee' lifeboat

  • A naming and a shout: all in day’s work for Calshot’s new lifeboat ‘Max Walls’

    Calshot's 'Max Walls' at her naming ceremony with Cowes' 'Sheena Louise' in background

  • Rye Harbour offers help to capsized catamaran

    Rye Harbour offers help to capsized catamaran

  • Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat Hello Herbie launches to a broken down cabin cruiser

    Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat Hello Herbie launches to a broken down cabin cruiser

  • Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat goes to the aid of Albert the dog and his owner

    Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat goes to the aid of Albert the dog and his owner

  • Hello Herbie launches to the aid of angling boat 'Studio 93'

    Hello Herbie launches to the aid of angling boat 'Studio 93'

  • RNLI appeals for participants in popular fundraiser, the BUPA Great South Run

    RNLI appeals for participants in popular fundraiser, the BUPA Great South Run

  • Hello Herbie launches to the aid of angling boat 'Studio 93'

    Hello Herbie launches to the aid of angling boat 'Studio 93'

  • Rye Harbour RNLI volunteers say 'Hello Herbie', goodbye 'Commander and Mrs Rodney Wells'

    Rye Harbour RNLI volunteers say 'Hello Herbie', goodbye 'Commander and Mrs Rodney Wells'

  • Essex woman’s generous legacy funds a new lifeboat to help save lives off the south coast

    Essex woman’s generous legacy funds a new lifeboat to help save lives off the south coast-2

  • Essex woman’s generous legacy funds a new lifeboat to help save lives off the south coast

    Essex woman’s generous legacy funds a new lifeboat to help save lives off the south coast-1

  • Essex woman’s generous legacy funds a new lifeboat to help save lives off the south coast

    Essex woman’s generous legacy funds a new lifeboat to help save lives off the south coast

  • Rye Harbour Station Open Day a Great Success

    Rye Harbour Station Open Day a Great Success

  • Annual Station Open Day at Rye Harbour

    Annual Station Open Day at Rye Harbour

  • Yachts' outboard engine - over the side

    Yachts' outboard engine - over the side

  • Yachts' outboard engine - over the side

    Yachts' outboard engine - over the side

  • RNLI Lifeboat B-842 Hello Herbie on Exercise with Coastguard 104

    Coastguard Helicopter 104 coming in to land at Rye Harbour

  • RNLI Lifeboat B-842 Hello Herbie on Exercise with Coastguard 104

    Lifeboat B-842 under Helicopter 104

  • RNLI Lifeboat B-842 Hello Herbie on Exercise with Coastguard 104

    Winched from Lifeboat

  • Sussex RNLI lifeboat launches remained high throughout 2009, show latest charity figures

    Sussex RNLI lifeboat launches remained high throughout 2009, show latest charity figures

  • Rye Harbour RNLI lifeboat station gear up for RNLI SOS Day

    Rye Harbour RNLI lifeboat station gear up for RNLI SOS Day

  • Jigsaw Puzzle Competition

    Jigsaw Puzzle Competition

  • Lifeboat charity welcomes eleventh-hour entries for the BUPA Great South Run

    Lifeboat charity welcomes eleventh-hour entries for the BUPA Great South Run


Image of lifeboat



Lifeboat name:
Hello Herbie

Lifeboat class: B class

Read more about the B class

A station was established, presumably in 1803, when one of Greathead's lifeboats was sent there.  The station apparently lapsed for some time but was re-established by the Institution in 1833.  In 1856 the boat was transferred to Camber (closed 26 Feb 1901) on the other side of the river, but the name of the station was not changed. In the same year (1856) another boat was stationed at Winchelsea.  Rye was closed in 1901 and in 1910 Winchelsea was renamed Rye Harbour.  Rye Harbour was eventually closed in 1928 after the lifeboat disaster.

An inshore lifeboat was first stationed at Rye Harbour in 1966.

RYE

1831
Gold Medals to Lt E C Earle RN and Lt John Steane RN for their gallant efforts in trying to save the crew of the brig Fame on 1 February.  All the crew had drowned but they recovered gold worth £3,000 from the wreck.

1832
Gold Medal to Lieut H L Parry RN for rescuing the master and 30 men from the French fishing boat L'Aimee on 21 November 1831.

1834
Silver Medals to Lt John Somerville RN and Lt Richard Morgan for rescuing the master and seven men from the brig Conrad on 23 January.  Four other men were drowned.

1838
On 20 March a coastguard boat capsized whilst on service to the brig Hero resulting in three men drowning.  They were Thomas Bolton, I Falling and J Scammel.

1835
Silver Medal to Lt William Southey RN for rescuing the master and six men from the French brig Charles Tronde on 9 October.  Two men drowned.

1844
Silver Medal awarded to James Bacon, master of the smack British Rover for rescuing the master and 12 men from the wrecked ship Singapore on 14 July.

1876
New lifeboat house constructed at Rye at a cost of £350.

1891
Silver Medal awarded to James Collins, coxswain of the Rye lifeboat in acknowledgement of his gallant services in which he assisted in saving 45 lives during the past 12 years.

1901
Rye Station closed.

WINCHELSEA 

1864
Silver Medal awarded to William C Buck, Chief Officer of the Coastguard service for rescuing the master of the fishing cutter Thetis which, during a gale force wind had sunk off 36 Tower, Winchelsea on 13 February.  Costguard G Terry was swept out of the boat and lost his life.

1879
Inspector reported that the signal gun - a 12lb cannonade at Winchelsea was considered too small and could not be heard at the next Coastguard station 1¼ miles distant, from whence half the crew came.

1882
New lifeboat house constructed at Winchelsea at a cost of £245.

Whilst proceeding to the assistance of s.s. Matin of Sunderland on 4 November (Rye lifeboat also in attendance) during a fresh gale, the lifeboat was struck broadside by two heavy seas in quick succession, which capsized her.  All the crew were thrown out but, with one exception, regained the boat.  Edward Robus was drowned, his body was washed ashore.  Committee of Management voted £200 to the relief of the dependants.

RYE HARBOUR 

1910
Winchelsea lifeboat station re-named Rye Harbour.

1928
The worst disaster for many years occurred on 15 November when the whole of the lifeboat crew of 17 were drowned, practically the whole male fishing population of the village.  The lifeboat was launched in a south-west gale with heavy rain squalls and heavy seas to the vessel Alice.  News was received that the crew of the Alice had been rescued by another vessel and the recall signal was fired three times, but apparently the crew of the lifeboat had not seen it.  As the lifeboat was coming into harbour she was seen to capsize and the whole crew perished.  All the dependants were pensioned by the Institution.  The local fund realised over £35,000.  The 17 men who lost their lives were Coxswain Herbert Head, and two sons James and John; Second Coxswain Joseph Stonham, Bowman Henry Cutting, and his two brothers, Roberts and Albert; three brothers Charles, Robert and Alexander Pope, brothers, William and Leslie Clark, brothers; Maurice and Arthur Downey, and cousins; H Smith, W Igglesden and C Southerden.

A memorial tablet made of Manx stone was presented to Rye Harbour by the people of the Isle of Man.  A memorial stained glass window was placed in Winchelsea Church.  It depicts a lifeboat putting out to a ship in distress while figures on the shore watch it as it goes.

Rye Harbour station closed.

1954
The memorial erected locally had fallen into disrepair and in 1954 the Institution took over the maintenance.

1966
Inshore lifeboat station established with the placing on service of a D class lifeboat in June.

1981
A Framed Letter of Thanks signed by the Chairman of the Institution awarded to Helmsman Keith W Downey for the rescue of three of the seven people, two women and a boy on board the 24ft ketch Midley Belle which had lost her main sheet and had engine failure whilst returning to harbour in an increasing fresh westerly wind with seas eight feet high over the bar.  The ketch was sailed by her crew into open seas and eventually taken in tow by the Dungeness lifeboat.

1983
Lifeboat Disaster Memorial restored including re-cutting of the inscription at top of memorial.

1984
A Vellum was awarded to commemorate the station's aggregate service of 144 years service covering the periods 1803 to 1928 and 1966 to 1984.

1986
D class lifeboat withdrawn and replaced by a C class on 21 June.

1990
Awarded to the station a 150th Anniversary Vellum.

1995
New boathouse constructed.  It provides housing for the lifeboat and launching tractor, a self-contained office, changing/drying room, workshop, toilets, for the National River Authority, a crew room, galley and office.

A new timber slipway and an elevated walkway leading to the boathouse was also constructed.

1996
C class lifeboat withdrawn and an Atlantic 21 placed on temporary duty as of 28 January.

Atlantic 21 class lifeboat withdrawn and replaced by an Atlantic 75 class lifeboat B727 which was placed on service on 17 July.

2002
Shoreworks to improve access completed in March at a cost of £53,391.

2010
The new Atlantic 85 class lifeboat B842 Hello Herbie was placed on service on 22 June. B727 has been withdrawn. This lifeboat was provided by the generous bequest of Mrs Peggy Joan Staveley in memory of her husband Herbert.

MEDAL AWARDS
Three gold and six silver medals have been awarded.