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St Mary's Lifeboat Station

Photo of St Mary's Lifeboat Station

St Mary’s all-weather lifeboat is situated on one of over 100 islands in the Isles of Scilly, lying 28 miles from Land’s End. The station has a remarkable history of bravery with 56 awards for gallantry being presented to the crews.

​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
12/07/2014 19:41
12/07/2014 19:39
07/07/2014 13:06
27/06/2014 17:21
11/06/2014 15:06
04/11/2013 20:18
01/11/2013 10:58
29/10/2013 22:13
25/09/2013 20:57
08/09/2013 21:37

Latest news from this station

See more news for St Mary's Lifeboat Station

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Station address:

St Mary's Lifeboat Station
Harbour Bay
Hugh Town
St Mary's
Isles of Scilly
TR21 0NE

Station telephone:

01720 422347

Station opening times:

8am–8pm daily 

Visitor contact:

Chris Thomas

Visitor contact telephone:

01720 422637

Shop telephone:

01720 423890

Shop opening times:

​All our shops are run by volunteers who take great pride in keeping them open whenever possible, if you are planning a special trip to visit this shop it may be best to call ahead to check the opening times.

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.

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • Aerial shot of St Mary's lifeboat

  • A previous inter island walk on the Isles of Scilly, raising funds for the RNLI

    Library picture of the inter-island walk on Scilly

  • Entente cordiale as St Mary’s RNLI host visit to the Isles of Scilly by French lifeboat

    Entente cordiale as St Mary’s RNLI host visit to the Isles of Scilly by French lifeboat-3

  • Entente cordiale as St Mary’s RNLI host visit to the Isles of Scilly by French lifeboat

    Entente cordiale as St Mary’s RNLI host visit to the Isles of Scilly by French lifeboat-2

  • Entente cordiale as St Mary’s RNLI host visit to the Isles of Scilly by French lifeboat

    Entente cordiale as St Mary’s RNLI host visit to the Isles of Scilly by French lifeboat-1

  • Entente cordiale as St Mary’s RNLI host visit to the Isles of Scilly by French lifeboat

    Entente cordiale as St Mary’s RNLI host visit to the Isles of Scilly by French lifeboat

  • RNLI fishing fundraiser sets off from Scilly on a reel adventure

    RNLI fishing fundraiser sets off from Scilly on a reel adventure

  • 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

  • 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

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

    On call over Christmas for the south west’s RNLI volunteers-3

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

    On call over Christmas for the south west’s RNLI volunteers-1

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

    On call over Christmas for the south west’s RNLI volunteers-2

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

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

  • Torbay’s RNLI look for help to Support Our Stations on SOS Day 2011

    Torbay’s RNLI look for help to Support Our Stations on SOS Day 2011

  • Safe arrival in Falmouth for dismasted Polish sail training vessel escorted by the RNLI

    Safe arrival in Falmouth for dismasted Polish sail training vessel escorted by the RNLI-2

  • Safe arrival in Falmouth for dismasted Polish sail training vessel escorted by the RNLI

    Safe arrival in Falmouth for dismasted Polish sail training vessel escorted by the RNLI-3

  • Safe arrival in Falmouth for dismasted Polish sail training vessel escorted by the RNLI

    Safe arrival in Falmouth for dismasted Polish sail training vessel escorted by the RNLI-1

  • Safe arrival in Falmouth for dismasted Polish sail training vessel escorted by the RNLI

    Safe arrival in Falmouth for dismasted Polish sail training vessel escorted by the RNLI

  • RNLI figures highlight another busy summer for the south west

    RNLI figures highlight another busy summer for the south west

  • Wet weather reflected in south west RNLI figures for 2012

    South West Flood Rescue Team train in Hayle

  • Wet weather reflected in south west RNLI figures for 2012

    South West Flood Rescue Team in training

  • Wet weather reflected in south west RNLI figures for 2012

    South West Flood Rescue Team training

  • RNLI pay tribute to former St Mary’s Coxswain Matt Lethbridge who has died aged 86

    RNLI pay tribute to former St Mary’s Coxswain Matt Lethbridge who has died aged 86-4

  • RNLI pay tribute to former St Mary’s Coxswain Matt Lethbridge who has died aged 86

    RNLI pay tribute to former St Mary’s Coxswain Matt Lethbridge who has died aged 86-3

  • RNLI pay tribute to former St Mary’s Coxswain Matt Lethbridge who has died aged 86

    RNLI pay tribute to former St Mary’s Coxswain Matt Lethbridge who has died aged 86-2

  • RNLI pay tribute to former St Mary’s Coxswain Matt Lethbridge who has died aged 86

    RNLI pay tribute to former St Mary’s Coxswain Matt Lethbridge who has died aged 86-1

  • RNLI pay tribute to former St Mary’s Coxswain Matt Lethbridge who has died aged 86

    RNLI pay tribute to former St Mary’s Coxswain Matt Lethbridge who has died aged 86

  • Steve Hicks retires as crewman on St. Mary's lifeboat

    Steve Hicks retires as crewman on St. Mary's lifeboat

  • St.Mary's RNLI lifeboat crew rescue French fisherman

    St.Mary's RNLI lifeboat crew rescue French fisherman

  • RNLI to benefit from charity kayak marathon round the Cornish coast

    RNLI to benefit from charity kayak marathon round the Cornish coast

  • Unique RNLI lifeboat slipway back in action at St Mary’s

    Unique RNLI lifeboat slipway back in action at St Mary’s

  • St.Mary's lifeboat station says farewell to John Nicholls

    St.Mary's lifeboat station says farewell to John Nicholls

  • RNLI volunteers in the south west remain on call this Christmas

    RNLI volunteer crew, fundraisers and lifeguards in St Ives

  • Test only St. Mary's RNLI rescue xmas

    The Whiteheads at rest

  • A first for the RNLI in Cornwall as two outstanding musical groups perform together

    A first for the RNLI in Cornwall as two outstanding musical groups perform together-3

  • A first for the RNLI in Cornwall as two outstanding musical groups perform together

    A first for the RNLI in Cornwall as two outstanding musical groups perform together-2

  • A first for the RNLI in Cornwall as two outstanding musical groups perform together

    A first for the RNLI in Cornwall as two outstanding musical groups perform together-1

  • A first for the RNLI in Cornwall as two outstanding musical groups perform together

    A first for the RNLI in Cornwall as two outstanding musical groups perform together

  • Lifejackets for lifesavers - South west RNLI volunteers launch campaign to buy new lifejackets

    Lifejackets for lifesavers - South west RNLI volunteers launch campaign to buy new lifejackets-3

  • Lifejackets for lifesavers - South west RNLI volunteers launch campaign to buy new lifejackets

    Lifejackets for lifesavers - South west RNLI volunteers launch campaign to buy new lifejackets-2

  • Lifejackets for lifesavers - South west RNLI volunteers launch campaign to buy new lifejackets

    Lifejackets for lifesavers - South west RNLI volunteers launch campaign to buy new lifejackets-1

  • Lifejackets for lifesavers - South west RNLI volunteers launch campaign to buy new lifejackets

    Lifejackets for lifesavers - South west RNLI volunteers launch campaign to buy new lifejackets

  • Fantastic funds raised for the RNLI by Scilly adventure walk and swim

    Fantastic funds raised for the RNLI by Scilly adventure walk and swim-3

  • Fantastic funds raised for the RNLI by Scilly adventure walk and swim

    Fantastic funds raised for the RNLI by Scilly adventure walk and swim-2

  • Fantastic funds raised for the RNLI by Scilly adventure walk and swim

    Fantastic funds raised for the RNLI by Scilly adventure walk and swim-1

  • Fantastic funds raised for the RNLI by Scilly adventure walk and swim

    Fantastic funds raised for the RNLI by Scilly adventure walk and swim

  • St Mary's RNLI rescue injured fisherman

    St Mary's RNLI rescue injured fisherman

  • Glorious sunshine helps make Inter-island walk on Scilly a huge success

    Glorious sunshine helps make Inter-island walk on Scilly a huge success

  • Summer weather brings unseasonable challenges for south west RNLI

    Library shot of an RNLI Atlantic lifeboat

Image of lifeboat
 


Lifeboat name: 
The Whiteheads

Lifeboat class: Severn

Funded by: Olive Elsie Whitehead

Read more about the Severn

1837
The first two lifeboats were kept in a boathouse on the town beach at Hugh Town.

1841
A Gold Medal was awarded to Mr Charles Steel and Silver Medals to William Rowe, Patrick O'Niell, James Hyde and Barnard Hicks for rescuing four people from the steamship Thames.

1855
The station closed.

1874
The lifeboat station was re-opened by the RNLI and a boathouse was built on the beach at Porth Cressa.

1889
A larger self-righting lifeboat was kept afloat on moorings in the harbour.

1891
A smaller carriage-launched lifeboat was sent to the station.

1899
A new boathouse and slipway were built at Carn Thomas.

1919
The station’s first motor lifeboat arrived at the station.

1927
On the afternoon of 27 October the steamship Isabo went aground on the Scilly Rock. The lifeboat Elsie and three other boats, Sunbeam, Czar, and Ivy, all responded and saved 32 of the 38 crew.

The following awards were made:

Elsie (lifeboat): Four lives saved – Silver Medal to Coxswain Matthew Lethbridge; Bronze Medals to Second Coxswain James T Lethbridge, Motor Mechanic John Rokahr and Doctor William Ivers

Sunbeam: 12 lives saved – Silver Medal to Charles Jenkins and a Bronze Medal to Mr ER Jenkins

Czar: 15 lives saved – Bronze Medal to Mr William E Jenkins

Ivy: One life saved – Bronze Medal to Mr Ernest Jenkins

The Italian Government awarded four Silver and 34 Bronze Medals for this service.

1934
A Bronze Medal was awarded to Acting Coxswain Harry Barratt for the rescue of six men and a dog from the schooner Myonie R Kirby.

1937
A Centenary Vellum was awarded to the station.

1945
Thanks of the Institution Inscribed on Vellum were awarded to Coxswain Matthew Lethbridge and Second Coxswain James T Lethbridge for rescuing 15 people from the torpedoed American liberty ship Jonas Lie.

1955
A Bronze Medal was awarded to Coxswain Matthew Lethbridge for rescuing 25 crew from the steamer Mando.

1967
A collective Framed Letter of Thanks was awarded to the Coxswain and crew for services to the tanker Torrey Canyon, which went aground on the Seven Stones on 18 March.

1967
A Silver Medal was awarded to Coxswain Matthew Lethbridge Jnr, Bronze Medals to Second Coxswain Ernest Guy and Motor Mechanic William Burrow and Thanks of the Institution Inscribed on Vellum were awarded to each of the eight other crew members for rescuing the 19 crew and saving the yacht Braemar.

1970
A Silver Medal was awarded to Coxswain Matthew Lethbridge Jnr, Bronze Medals to Second Coxswain Ernest Guy and Motor Mechanic William Burrow and Thanks of the Institution Inscribed on Vellum were awarded to each of the eight other crew members for rescuing 10 people from the Nordanhav.

1972
Thanks of the Institution Inscribed on Vellum were awarded to Coxswain Matthew Lethbridge Jnr and Crew Member Rodney Terry for a service to the crew and yacht Moronel.

1975
Coxswain Matthew Lethbridge Jnr was awarded the British Empire Medal in the New Year's Honours List.

1977
A Silver Medal was awarded to Coxswain Matthew Lethbridge Jnr for a service to the French trawler Enfant de Bretagne. The lifeboat searched for survivors amongst the wreckage and many uncharted rocks for nine hours. Thanks of the Institution Inscribed on Vellum were awarded to each of the seven other crew members.

1979
A special framed certificate was awarded to the Coxswain and crew for services to numerous yachts in difficulties during the Fastnet Race on 14 August.

1982
The Thanks of the Institution Inscribed on Vellum was awarded to Coxswain Matthew Lethbridge BEM for rescuing two crew from yacht Concherto.

1983
The Thanks of the Institution Inscribed on Vellum was awarded to Coxswain Matthew Lethbridge BEM for the rescue of six people after a helicopter had crashed in dense fog and dangerous waters.

1985
Coxswain Matthew Lethbridge BEM retired having served nearly 40 years in the St Mary’s lifeboats, the previous 29 years as coxswain.

1987
A 150th Anniversary Vellum was awarded to station.

1993
A Bronze Medal was awarded to Coxswain Barry Bennett for the rescue of the sole occupant from the yacht Bacarole, which was swamped by heavy seas in very shallow waters of Porth Cressa Bay. The survivor was hauled onboard just as the yacht was engulfed by waves and sank.

1997
The new Severn class lifeboat arrived at the station.

2004
Bronze Medals were awarded to Coxswain Andrew Howells and Crew Members Mark Bromham and Philip Roberts for the rescue of an injured man from a yacht on 29 October 2003. The rescue took place in north westerly force 8 winds, 12 metre seas and 40 miles from the station. Petty Officer Air Crewman David Rigg and Leading Crewman Graham Hatch were both awarded The Thanks of the Institution Inscribed on Vellum. The Shipwrecked Fishermen and Mariners’ Royal Benevolent Society awarded Coxswain Howells The Lady Swaythling Trophy for 2003 for this service.

Station honours

At St Mary’s Lifeboat Station the following awards have been made:

Framed Letter of Thanks 1

Thanks of the Institution Inscribed on Vellum 29

Bronze Medal 16

Silver Medal 9

Gold Medal 1