Donate now

Bridlington's station history


The men of Bridlington have won 16 medals, 11 Silver and five Bronze, the last being voted in 2000.


Each year a memorial service is held in memory of the great gale at Bridlington on 10 February 1871, when 70 lives were lost and 30 ships were wrecked.  Two lifeboats put out from Bridlington to a large number of wrecks – the Institution’s lifeboat and a smaller one not owned or administered by the Institution (there were at that time many such lifeboats).  It appears that the crew of the small lifeboat were exhausted by their exertions and their place was taken by a volunteer crew.  Unfortunately the boat, the Harbinger presented to the Bowman of Bridlington by Count Gustave Batthyany, capsized with loss of six of her crew of nine.


Greathead supplied a lifeboat to Bridlington.


Silver Medal awarded to John Usher and monetary awards to 13 other men for the rescue (by the lifeboat) of three of the crew of the schooner Fox of Montrose, which ran aground in a tremendous gale while bound from Pillau to Yarmouth with a cargo of linseed on 10 January.  Three apprentices who launched the ship’s boat before the arrival of the lifeboat were drowned.


Silver Medal awarded to George Gray and monetary awards to 10 other men for the rescue of six people on board the sloop Eagle of Peterhead, which ran aground and was wrecked at Bridlington on 24 October.  Mr Gray rode out into the surf on a horse and passed a rope by which means a warp was hauled to the shore.  He dismounted and went into the surf on foot and holding the warp helped ashore the survivors in spite of being buried by waves several times.


A New lifeboat house erected at a cost of £189.


Silver Medal and £2 awarded to Thomas Frankish ‘a youth’ in recognition of his daring conduct in rescuing a man who had been washed out of a coble in a heavy sea at the mouth of Bridlington Harbour on 10 October.  Mr Frankish was lowered over the pier into the boiling surf that threatened to dash him to pieces against the pier wall.


A fearful gale took place on this part of the coast on 10 February and the lifeboat saved the crews of three wrecked vessels consisting of 16 men.  A private lifeboat that had been presented by Count Batthyany also put off but on her sixth trip she capsized with the loss of six of her crew of nine.  Committee of Management voted 100 guineas to local fund.


Gas and water services provided.


Whilst on service to the brig Orb of Whitby on 8 December, one man was washed out of the lifeboat but was recovered.


Silver Medal awarded to Henry Hutchinson for saving life during a northerly gale with a moderate sea on 7 April.  He took in tow a rowing boat that was in distress, her six occupants boarding his coble.  Soon afterwards another boat capsized and he rescued the crew of two.


Silver Medals and monetary awards to Christopher Brown, Fred Brown, Thomas Clark, Richard Purvis and John Usher for putting off in a coble at 1am and rescuing, the crew of six of the schooner Victoria of Aberdeen, which sank off Bridlington in a strong gale and heavy sea on 19 November.  Mr Brown and crew put off in a 24 foot coble and took off the Master and four men before being told that another person remain aboard, they then managed to rescue him.  The return journey was a nightmare experience with snow and hail added to the fury of the wind and sea.


Tippings launching poles used for the first time.


A sea wall was being constructed and the Institution contributed £200 towards the cost of a slipway for use of lifeboat.

At a service launch on 13 December 1897 the wheels of the carriage sank into the sand and Mr Rogers, a journalist, was knocked down and killed.  Committee of Management voted £50 to widow.


On 25 March the private lifeboat Seagull was launched but was smashed against the sea wall.  The crew were saved but in endeavouring to help them, Chrstopher Brown missed his footing on the steps and lost his life.  Committee of Mangement voted £25 to local fund.


Site of lifeboat house acquired by Town Council for street improvements.


Lifeboat house constructed on a new site at a cost of more than £1,000.


The sum of £75 received for old lifeboat houses and site.


The sum of £17 10 0d paid as compensation for injury to a horse at an exercise.


Lifeboat was launched to a mine sweeper in March.  Robert Carr, who was riding one of the launching horses, was swept out to sea and drowned.  Two of the horses were also drowned.  The second rider was saved only by being hauled into the lifeboat as she was carried past him.  Committee of Management voted £100 to dependant relatives.

The sum of £3 awarded to member of Life-Saving Apparatus team for saving a horseman.

Acetylene beach light supplied.


A Centenary Vellum awarded to station.


Lifeboat capsized on service off Flamborough on 19 August and Bowman Redhead lost his life.  The lifeboat had gone out to rescue two girl bathers.  A memorial plaque was placed in the Bridlington lifeboat house and unveiled by Lady Hotham, wife of the President of the Branch.


Assistant Mechanic J Shippey died half an hour after reaching his home following a launch on service on 18 May.  Death was considered to have been accelerated by the lifeboat service and his widow was paid a pension by RNLI.


A D class lifeboat sent to station in April.


The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum accorded to Coxswain John E King and additional monetary award to crew and helpers in connection with the lifeboat service on 6 January when the motor fishing vessel Normanby and crew of four were saved.

Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum accorded to H T Wood and A Framed Letter of Thanks signed by the Chairman of the Institution to R Cooper in connection with the ILB service on 26 March, when two youths who had fallen over the cliffs were rescued.


Bronze Medal awarded to Coxswain John E King and the Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum accorded to the remaining members of the crew for standing by the motor vessel Maria F and rescuing the female cook.  The vessel was dragging onto a lee shore one mile east by south of Bridlington Harbour on 4/5 February, in a south-easterly gale and very rough sea.


Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum accorded to Coxswain John E King and framed Letters of Thanks signed by the Chairman of the Institution awarded to the remaining six members of the crew for a service to the trawler Flamborough Light, which had grounded on the harbour bar and was in danger of drifting onto rocks by the South Pier on 16 November.  The trawler and the crew of four were successfully saved.


The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum were accorded to crew member F Walkington and Framed Letters of Thanks signed by the Chairman awarded to Coxswain King and the five remaining crew members for a service on 13 September to the cabin cruiser Tiger Moth II.  The casualty was safely towed into harbour after Mr Walkington had jumped from the lifeboat onto the cabin cruiser to secure the tow line; the occupants being unable to help due to seasickness and exhaustion.


Bronze Medal Second-Service clasp awarded to Coxswain John E King for the part he played in rescuing the motor fishing vessel My Susanne and her crew of four on 24 January.  The lifeboat’s crew of six received medal service certificates.  The motor fishing vessel My Susanne, which had broached broadside onto the beach and was rolling and grinding on the rocky shore, was eventually and after great difficulty freed and towed safely back into harbour.

Framed Letters of Thanks signed by the Chairman of the Institution were presented to Coxswain John E King and crew member K Bentley for a service in the inshore lifeboat on 10 September when a motor boat was saved and her crew of three were rescued in very rough seas.


Silver Medal awarded to Coxswain John E King and The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum were accorded to the other members of the crew George William Traves, Denis Atkins, Roderick William Stott, Anthony John Ayre, Fred Walkington, Kenneth Bently for the rescue of five crew of the motor fishing vessel White Knight which had broken down and was dragging her anchor, and heading into a hurricane in reduced visibility 10 miles south by east of Bridlington on 2 April.


A celebration 150th Anniversary Vellum awarded.


Bronze Medal to Coxswain Fred Walkington in recognition of the courage, leadership and initiative displayed by him when the lifeboat was launched in very severe weather conditions to the assistance of the West German cargo vessel Sunnanhav, which had broken down eight miles north east of Flamborough Head in a violent north easterly storm with extremely poor visibility due to heavy snow, sub-zero temperatures and a very heavy sea on 15 February.


Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum accorded to Coxswain Fred Walkington in recognition of the leadership, skill and determination displayed by him when the lifeboat rescued the crew of three of the fishing coble Three Fevers II which sank off the Canch sandbank and assisted other cobles into harbour in a strong north easterly gale and a very rough sea on 31 January.


The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum accorded to Coxswain Fred Walkington in recognition of the skill and judgement displayed by him when the lifeboat under his command, after escorting four cobles to safety, rescued two adults and two children and saved the yacht Sula Sula which was in difficulties one mile north of Hornsea in an easterly gale and heavy breaking seas on 11 August.


Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum accorded to the Helmsman of the D class inflatable lifeboat, Andrew Brompton, in recognition of the seamanship and determination displayed by him when the lifeboat rescued three people from a motor boat and a sailing dinghy that was in difficulties off Ulrome and Skipsea in a west-south-westerly gale and rough sea on 19 October.


Boathouse was adapted to accommodate the new Mersey class lifeboat.  Oakley class lifeboat withdrawn and replaced by Mersey class lifeboat.


Framed Letter of Thanks signed by the Chairman of the Institution, Mr Michael Vernon, was presented to Helmsman Andrew Brompton in recognition of a service on 11 April when the inshore lifeboat rescued a board sailor North of Bridlington Harbour, North Pier, in rough sea conditions which continuously filled the lifeboat whilst crossing the bar.


The station's new Mersey class lifeboat ON1169 was officially named Marine Engineer on 25 April 1991.  The Lifeboat was provided by the Marine Engineers Centenary Appeal together with a number of gifts and bequests.


New D class boathouse was constructed on Princess Mary Promenade on the site of the previous small boathouse and adjoining shelter.  As well as housing the D class the new boathouse includes improved crew facilities.


A Framed Letter of Thanks signed by the Chairman of the Institution awarded to Helmsman Andrew Day for helping to bring in the yacht Blue Chip and her crew of three on 8 June 2000.  The ILB was operating in shallow and disturbed water.

Bronze Medal Second Service Clasp awarded to Coxswain Fred Walkington and a Bronze Medal awarded to Assistant Mechanic Andrew Brompton for the rescue of the crew of five and the saving of the yacht Lobo in atrocious weather conditions on 11 July 2000.

The new station D class lifeboat D557 Lord Feoffees III was placed on service on 8 September 2000.  Lifeboat D426 has been withdrawn.


Retired Coxswain Fred Walkington was honoured by Her Majesty The Queen in the New Years Honours, he became a Member, Order of the British Empire.


Former Coxswain Roland Stork has been honoured by Her Majesty The Queen in the birthday honours list and made a Member, Order of the British Empire (MBE).

The Trustees of the Institution voted on 6 October that Bridlington is to received a Vellum to commemorate 200 years service as a lifeboat station in 2005.

A Framed Chairman’s Letter of Thanks awarded to Helmsman Duncan Stewart for his seamanship, boat-handling and decision making when the station D class inshore lifeboat saved the life of a windsurfer on 20 March 2004.  The service was conducted in off shore force 7 to 8 winds and the man had become entangled in a pot marker.  The lifeboat was in grave danger of being capsized because of the wind conditions.


Helmsman Adrian Trower accorded the Thanks of the Institute inscribed on Vellum for the rescue of a man from the sea close inshore in a dangerous surf off Bridlington’s North Promenade – an area where an inshore lifeboat had capsized on service some years earlier.


The new station D class lifeboat D721 Windsor Spirit was placed on service on 14 September. D557 has been withdrawn.


After 104 years in the Old Lifeboat House opposite the Spa, Bridlington RNLI took up residency in the all-new Lifeboat Station adjacent to the Spa in September. The two-storey station offers the extra space required to house Bridlington’s new Shannon class lifeboat and launch vehicle, the D Class inshore lifeboat and space for RNLI lifeguards to store their equipment.

The station's latest all-weather lifeboat, Antony Patrick Jones, arrived in November 2017. The Shannon class lifeboat uses waterjets instead of propellers, making it the most agile and manoeuvrable all-weather lifeboat in the fleet. Measuring just over 13 metres in length and weighing 18 tonnes, it is the smallest and lightest of our 25-knot lifeboats.


The new Station D class lifeboat D852 Ernie Wellings was placed on service in January 2021. D721 has been withdrawn.