Aberystwyth's station history
One Silver Medal and three Bronze Medals have been awarded, the last being voted in 1991.
When this station was established it completed the chain of lifeboats on that part of the Welsh coast. Following collections in the town, a small lifeboat was purchased in 1843 and placed under the control of the Harbour Master. It was a small craft, 27ft long, with six oars, and was housed in a boathouse near the harbour. No record exists regarding the number of services this lifeboat carried out.
On 26th February 1861, a public meeting was held to establish a branch of the RNLI. Rev John Williams was appointed Honorary Secretary. A ten-oared double-banked lifeboat, on the self-righting principle, was sent to station in October 1861, complete with transporting carriage and complete equipment. The inaugural launch of the RNLB Evelyn Wood took place early in November 1861 and she remained on station until 1876.
Silver Medal awarded to Watkin Lewis of Aberystwyth, in acknowledgement of his gallant conduct in swimming out, at the peril of his life, to effect a communication with the schooner Rebecca of Bridgewater that was wrecked off Aberystwyth on 25 March and afterwards helping to save her crew of six people. Also for wading into the surf at Aberystwyth and saving his own father, who, in endeavouring to save the life of another person, had been carried out to sea on 10 September.
New lifeboat house constructed at a cost of £250.
Lady Haberfield on station until 1881.
Crew member John James died from cold and exhaustion after a long service to a schooner on 20 February. The Committee of Management voted £120 to local fund in aid of the widow and two children.
Elisabeth Lloyd, ON128, on station to 1906.
Slipway was reconstructed.
John and Naomi Beattie, ON562, on station until 1932.
During a severe gale the heavy sea damaged the slipway and lifted a portion about 18 inches, the piles being drawn out of the ground.
Illuminated Address presented to Capt T Doughton on his retirement of the Secretaryship after 25 years.
Frederick Angus, ON757, a self-righting motor lifeboat, on station until 1949.
Coxswain David Williams (son of Thomas Williams Coxswain 1876-1891) retires after 42.5 years, having been the RNLI’s youngest Coxswain at 22.
New tractor and launching mechanism introduced to ease the beach launches.
Aquila Wren, ON892, named after the SS Aquila which was torpedoed and sunk by the enemy in 1941 killing 22 WRNS on board, on station until 1964.
Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum were accorded to Coxswain Baden Powell Davies, for the rescue of three people from the fishing vessel Lindy Lou of Aberdovey on 26 July.
Centenary Vellum awarded to station on 9th May.
First station to be equipped with an inshore lifeboat. ILB No.1 placed on service in May with the first rescue on 3 June.
Conventional lifeboat withdrawn from station 31 October and permanent inshore lifeboat station established.
The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum was accorded to Messrs Alan Blair, Mike Nichol and Keith Stone for the rescue of a bather on 1 September.
Bronze Medal and the Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum awarded to Alan Blair, a member of the crew of the inshore lifeboat, in recognition of the courage and determination displayed by him when he swam from the motor fishing vessel Western Seas in a force 5 wind and dived repeatedly in an attempt to rescue two men who were trapped in the cabin of the capsized motor cruiser Annabel II about 60 yards from the north harbour arm on 22 February. The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum accorded to Tony Meyler, the skipper of the Western Seas for courage and seamanship.
A Framed Letter of Thanks signed by the Chairman of the Institution awarded to Robert Goorman, a member of the inshore lifeboat crew, who put out in his fishing vessel Lona on 6 December and took a sailing boat and a college rescue boat in tow in a south easterly gale. The sailing boat had capsized and the college rescue boat’s engine had broken down. The four people rescued required medical assistance.
Two doctors from a local hospital called at the lifeboat house on the evening of 10 April seeking the use of a boat to collect some clean seawater. A nine-year old patient, who had had pneumonia, had developed severe congestion in his bronchial passages, which the doctors believed could be eased by inhalation of vaporised seawater. The inshore lifeboat was launched and one gallon of seawater was collected from well out in Cardigan Bay. The unusual treatment had immediate beneficial effect on the boy.
The class of lifeboat changed from D to C.
A Letter of Thanks signed by the Chairman of the Institution awarded to Helmsman Alan Blair, in recognition of his commendable action on 3 July when he dived into the sea near a public slipway at Blackpill when en route to the home of the Mumbles coxswain following the Naming Ceremony of the new Mumbles lifeboat and rescued a young girl who got into difficulties whilst playing in the sea with a polystyrene board some 20 to 25 yards offshore.
Bronze Medals were awarded to Peter Heading, Helmsman of the C class lifeboat and crew member Robert Gorman, skipper of the fishing vessel Seren-Y-Mor for the service on 18 September 1990 when the sole occupant of the vessel Otter was rescued and the craft was saved one mile outside of Aberystwyth Harbour in a Force 7 wind and steep sea. The lifeboat took the yacht in tow after transferring crew member Michael Harris to the Otter and rendezvoused with the fishing vessel Seren-Y-Mor in a position ¾ of a mile west by south of the harbour. The Seren-Y-Mor took over the tow and the yacht was successfully taken into the harbour. Crew member Michael Harris was accorded the Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum for his part in this service when he boarded the yacht from the lifeboat established a tow and took over the helm of the Otter. Framed letters of Thanks signed by the Chairman of the Institution were presented to David Davies and Martin Porter, members of the lifeboat crew, and Alan Blair, Brian Slack, Bryan Pugh-Jones and Sandro James, members of the Seren-Y-Mor crew. The Ralph Glister Award was jointly awarded to the crew of the ILB and the crew of the Seren-Y-Mor for the most outstanding ILB service during 1990.
New boathouse constructed for the station’s new B class Atlantic 21 lifeboat. As well as housing the Atlantic 21 lifeboat and launching tractor coupled-in-line, it also includes a fuel store and improved crew facilities.
Atlantic 21 class lifeboat withdrawn on 30 March and replaced by a new Atlantic 75 class lifeboat, ILB B-704.
The new Atlantic 85 class lifeboat B-822 Spirit of Friendship was placed on service on 17 October. Lifeboat B-704 has been withdrawn.
A boathouse adaptation was completed to widen the doors at a cost of £10,000.
The Trustees of the RNLI at their meeting on 3 November confirmed an anniversary Vellum to acknowledge the completion of 150 years service as a lifeboat station for 2011.
The new station Arancia A78 was placed on service 13 December 2012.