St Ives Lifeboat Station has had a remarkable history of bravery with over 55 awards for gallantry being presented. Over its 165-year history it has also seen tragedy with seven lifeboat crew losing their lives saving others at sea.
Figures released by the RNLI today (Wednesday 27 January) reveal that volunteer crews in the south west* launched lifeboats a total of 1,485 times and rescued 1,531 people in 2015.
Volunteer RNLI lifeboat crews across the south west will remain on call, as always, over the festive season this year.
The St Ives inshore lifeboat was launched at 4pm on Saturday 12 December following a 999 call to a windsurfer in difficulty at Gwithian/Hayle Bar due to the heavy sea.
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St Ives Lifeboat StationLifeboat HouseWharf RoadSt IvesCornwallTR26 1LF
Station opening times:
Normally open summer months – weekdays only
Visitor contact telephone:
Shop opening times:
18–22 FebruaryMonday–Saturday 11am–4pmMarch Tuesday, Thursday. Saturday11am–4pm
9 July–7 SeptemberMonday–Saturday 11am–4pm7–9pm
8 September–2 NovemberMonday–Saturday 11am–4pm
5 November–12 DecemberTuesday, Thursday, Saturday 11am–1.30pm
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: The Princess Royal
Lifeboat class: Mersey
Funded by: Civil Service No.41 The Civil Service, Post Office and British Telecommunications (cistopel) Lifeboat Fund
Read more about the Mersey
Lifeboat name: Colin Bramley Parker
Lifeboat class: D class
Funded by: Miss Diane Saxon
Read more about the D class
1839Silver Medals were awarded to five pilots for rescuing five men from the schooner Rivals that ran aground on 24 December 1838.
1840The first lifeboat, Hope, was operated by a local committee.
1861The RNLI took over the station and a boathouse was built in Island Road.
1865A Silver Medal was awarded to Coxswain Nicholas Levett for rescuing four crew from the wrecked brigantine Providence. The lifeboat capsized twice during this service.
1867A new boathouse was built on Market Strand.
1871–1921Seven Silver Medals and one Thanks of the Institution Inscribed on Vellum were awarded for gallantry for rescues off the coast.
1911The 1867 boathouse was rebuilt on the quay.
1938The station’s first motor lifeboat was placed on service.
1938On 31 January as the lifeboat had rescued the 23 crew from the vessel Alba a large sea capsized the lifeboat. Five of the Alba crew drowned. Coxswain Thomas Cocking was awarded the Silver Medal and the eight crew Bronze Medals. This was the first time a motor lifeboat had capsized.
1939On 23 January the lifeboat launched in a violent gale to the aid of an unknown vessel. The lifeboat capsized north of Clodgy Point and when she righted four men were missing. As the boat drifted she capsized again and another man was lost. She capsized a third time and only Crew Member William Freeman managed to get ashore near Godrevy. Bronze Medals were awarded to Crew Member William Freeman and posthumously to Coxswain Thomas Cocking, Matthew Barber, William Barber, Richard Stevens, John Cocking, John Thomas, and Edgar Bassett.
Within 12 months two lifeboats and 12 lives had been lost – an event unparalleled in the history of the RNLI.
1946A Silver Medal was awarded to Coxswain William Peters for rescuing two people from the sinking ketch Minnie Flossie.
1946A Centenary Vellum was awarded to the station.
1958A Silver Medal and the Maud Smith award for the bravest act of lifesaving in 1958 were awarded to Mechanic Michael Peters and Bronze Medals to Coxswain Dan Roach and Signalman Dan Paynter Jnr for rescuing four people trapped in a cave. Michael Peters jumped overboard, brought one person aboard and then swam into the cave with a line attached to bring everyone to safety.
1964An inshore lifeboat (ILB) station was permanently established alongside the all weather lifeboat. A D class was placed on service.
1968A collective Framed Letter of Thanks was awarded to the Helmsman and crew for saving three people from two speedboats. During the service the ILB capsized, fortunately without the loss of life.
1972–1978Over a period of six years one Framed Letter of Thanks (1972), two Thanks of the Institution Inscribed on Vellum (1975 and 1977) and one Silver Medal (1978) were awarded to Coxswain Thomas Cocking for four rescues. Thanks of the Institution Inscribed on Vellum were awarded to the six other crew members for the 1978 rescue.
1979A special framed certificate was awarded to the Coxswain and crew for their service to several yachts in difficulties during the Fastnet Race on 14 August.
1980Framed Letters of Thanks were awarded to Tractor Driver J Tanner and Head Launcher J Benney when they successfully launched the lifeboat in very difficult conditions with a fault in one of the tracks on the tractor.
1981A Framed Letter of Thanks was awarded to Helmsman P Allen when he swam from the ILB to help a helicopter winchman put a very badly injured man, who had fallen from cliffs, into a stretcher. Director’s Letters of Appreciation were sent to Crew Members I Lowe and I Tanner and the Commanding Officer of the Royal Naval Air Station at Culdrose.
1982Two Bronze Medals were awarded to Helmsman Eric Thomas Ward for two rescues – one to a capsized sailing dinghy (April) and the other to a yacht aground (July). Thanks of the Institution Inscribed on Vellum were awarded to Crew Members William Thomas and Philip Allen (April) and Thomas Cocking Jnr and John Stevens (July).
1984A Silver Medal was awarded to Coxswain Thomas Cocking Snr for rescuing 14 people from the German tug Fairplay X and the Dutch coaster Orca in a strong gale and very rough seas. The Maud Smith Award for the most outstanding act of lifesaving during 1984 was awarded to Coxswain Thomas Cocking Snr for the Orca service.
1989A collective Framed Letter of Thanks was sent to the Coxswain and crew after the lifeboat stood by the cargo vessel Secil Japan which had grounded on rocks in Deadman’s Cove in storm force winds and very rough seas.
1994A new boathouse and slipway were built for the station's Mersey class lifeboat, launching tractor, and ILB, providing a workshop, souvenir sales outlet and crew facilities.
1996A 150th Anniversary Vellum was awarded to the station.
1997The new D class lifeboat, D-515 Spirit of the RTC, was placed on service.
2007The new D class lifeboat Colin Bramley Parker was placed on service.
At St Ives Lifeboat Station the following awards have been made:
Framed Letter of Thanks 6
Thanks of the Institution Inscribed on Vellum 13
Bronze Medal 20
Silver Medal 18
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.