Today's all-weather Mersey class and D class lifeboats operate from the original, although much altered, boathouse built 130 years ago. During the station's history the lifeboat crews have been honoured with 31 awards for gallantry.
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Just before midnight the volunteer Swanage lifeboat crew were paged to assist with the search for a missing person along with the police and HM Coastguard.
This week signals a momentous occasion for Swanage RNLI, as the station celebrates its 140th anniversary.
Just two days after Swanage Lifeboat Week came to an end the pagers sounded requesting the assistance of the Swanage all-weather lifeboat to a yacht with engine failure 16 miles SSE of Old Harry.
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Registration is open now, so help us raise some doe and get ready for some festive family fun. There’s a free T-shirt and antlers for every participant!
Swanage Lifeboat StationPeveril PointSwanageBH19 2AY
Station opening times:
April–September 10am–4pm Monday–Friday
Don't miss: crew training - Wednesday afternoon and Sunday morning
Parking, disabled access
Visitor contact telephone:
Shop address and opening times:
7 The SquareSwanageDorsetBH19 2LJ
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: Robert Charles Brown
Lifeboat class: Mersey class
Funded by: A regional appeal together with other gifts and legacies
Read more about the Mersey
Lifeboat name: Phyl and Jack
Lifeboat class: D class
Read more about the D class
1875 The station was established at the request of the local residents as a result of the wrecked brigantine Wild Wave on Peveril Ledge. The boathouse and slipway were built and, although much altered, are still in use today. The original boathouse cost £350 and the slipway £175.
1895 Coxswain William Brown tragically lost his life when he was washed out of the lifeboat whilst on service to the barque Brilliant.
1918 After a brief closure in 1917, when many of the local crew were away in the Forces, the station re-opened with new lifeboat Herbert Sturmy, costing £2,500.
1927 Extensive alterations were made to the boathouse and a deep-water slipway was built for the new lifeboat Thomas Markby, the station’s first motor lifeboat. The lifeboat cost £6,559.
1934 A Bronze Medal was awarded to Assistant Motor Mechanic Robert C Brown for the rescue of one man who had gone overboard from the yacht Hally Lise.
1941 Robert Charles Brown became the Coxswain.
1943 Three people were rescued from the French Navy vessel Chasseurs, which capsized off Durlston Head. Medals were awarded to each crew member by the French Government, plus a silver gilt medal to Coxswain Brown. Bronze Medals were awarded to the Mechanic and Bowman.
1949 A new lifeboat R.L.P. arrived at the station, costing £15,584.
1970 A Bronze Medal was awarded to Coxswain Ronald Hardy and Thanks of the Institution Inscribed on Vellum were awarded to Second Coxswain D Dyke and Crew Member P Dorey for the rescue of a youth cut off by the tide.
1975 A Centenary Vellum was awarded to the station.
Extensive alterations were made to the boathouse and slipway to house a new Rother class lifeboat J. Reginald Corah, costing £95,000.
1976 Bronze Medals were awarded to Coxswain Ronald Hardy and Second Coxswain/Mechanic Victor Albert Marsh when assistance was given to the yacht Campscharles on 14 October.
1992 The boathouse was adapted for the station's new Mersey class lifeboat, providing improved crew facilities. The slipway was completely rebuilt.
The station's new Mersey class lifeboat was officially named Robert Charles Brown. Robert Charles Brown BEM was a much-respected lifeboatman at Swanage for over 50 years. The lifeboat cost £650,000.
1995 An inshore lifeboat (ILB) station was permanently established. A new D class lifeboat was placed on service, donated by Mrs Phyl Cleare, costing £15,000.
1996 A Bronze Medal was awarded to Coxswain Christopher Haw when five crew from the yacht Be Happy were rescued in winds gusting to hurricane force. The Maud Smith Award for the most outstanding act of lifesaving during 1996 was awarded to Coxswain Christopher Haw for this service.
2003 The new station D class lifeboat, D-613 Jack Cleare, was placed on service on 27 August. Costing £25,000, it was again donated by Mrs Cleare.
2012The new station D class lifeboat, D-752 Phyl & Jack, was placed on service on 12 July. Costing £39,000, it was donated by the late Mrs Phyl Cleare, in memory of her husband, Jack.
At Swanage Lifeboat Station the following awards have been made:
Framed Letter of Thanks 6
Thanks of the Institution Inscribed on Vellum 16
Bronze Medal 5
Silver Medal 5
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.