Station history

1824

The Institution’s First Annual Report (for 1824) appears the following notation: -

“The Committee are happy to state that local associations, which have affiliated themselves with this Institution, have been formed at the following places: Dover, Brighton, Penzance, Newcastle-on-Tyne and Bridlington”.

Silver Medal awarded to Charles Watts for the rescue of three people from a Brighton pleasure boat on 15 June.

1825

The first boat was received at Brighton on 30 January; it was transferred to the Isles of Scilly in 1837.

1838

Silver Medal awarded to Lieut E Franklin RN when, with two Coastguards, he rescued by wading into the sea with ropes the Master and seven crew of the Brig Friends, who were in the rigging on 29 October.

1839

Silver Medal awarded to Lieut G Franklyn RN for the rescue of the Master and five men, being the whole crew of the Brig Zebra on 19 January.

1840

Gold Medal awarded to Captain Digby Marsh RN, coastguard, and Silver Medals to Lieut N Newman RN, coastguard; Lieut T H Prior RN, coastguard, for the rescue, by means of a line, of the Masters and crews of the Brig Mary, Schooner Sir John Seale and the Brig Offerton; in all 22 men and boys on 13 December.

1860

A helper, J Laker, was run over and killed by a carriage at a service launch on 2 June.

1886

In view of the new groynes etc on the beach, it became necessary to remove the lifeboat to a site between two piers.  The Institution agreed to take over the two arches being constructed under the Western Esplanade and surrender the present lifeboat house to Brighton Corporation.

1904

It was reported that on the occasion of the stranding of the ketch Antelope on 10 April, the coxswain of the lifeboat obtained a crew of 11, six belonging to the Institution’s crew, and went in the town lifeboat and rescued three men.

1928

Use of horses abolished.

A Centenary Vellum awarded.

1931

Station closed as Shoreham motor lifeboat served in the area.

1965

D class lifeboat sent to station in April.  This ILB was provided from donations made by the customers of The Rising Sun public house in London.

1967

Letters of Thanks signed by the Chairman of the Institution awarded to G Wheeler, P Avey and E C Newman in connection with the service carried out on 25 June 1967, when a rubber dinghy and five people were saved.

1974

A D class lifeboat withdrawn for the winter on 30 October.

1975

Station closed temporarily until Marina facilities available.  Station non-operational.

1977

B-539 exhibited at the Earls Court Boat Show in January 1977 as Brighton’s new ILB, but suitable berthing arrangements were not available in the marina.

1978

In May a reserve McLachlan class lifeboat was sent to the station for crew training.  It was withdrawn in July when B539 was placed on restricted service.

1979

Station became fully operational from April after being on restricted service in 1978.  The boat had operated from an afloat berth in the Marina until a pontoon, costing approximately £10,000 was provided for the Atlantic 21 lifeboat.  The pontoon became operational from 24 December.

1986

The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum was accorded to Helmsman Alan John Young, crew members Roger George Cohen and Stanley Todd in recognition of the skill, determination and teamwork displayed when rescuing the crew of three from the yacht Asterionella in extremely hazardous conditions on 26 August.  The relief ILB B-520 capsized three times during this service.

1996

Silver Medal awarded to Helmsman Richard Pearce in recognition of his courage, initiative and seamanship, and Bronze Medals awarded to crew members Martin Ebdell and Edward Purches in recognition of the initiative, determination and selflessness displayed during the service on 7/8 September 1995 when the lifeboat rescued two young women clinging to the supports beneath Brighton Palace Pier approximately 20 yards off the beach in very rough seas and a heavy breaking surf.  A Framed Letter of Thanks signed by the Chairman of the Institution was awarded to Brighton Lifeboat Station recognising the role played by the station as a whole.  Framed Letters of Thanks signed by the Chairman were also awarded to Auxiliary Coastguard Mr Peter Apps and Mr Nick Gilbert recognising their efforts on the beach during this rescue.

The Walter and Elizabeth Groombridge Award for the most meritorious service performed by an Atlantic 21 class lifeboat during 1995 was awarded to crew members Richard Pearce, Edward Purches and Martin Ebdell for this service and The Maude Smith Bequest for the most outstanding act of life saving was awarded to crew member Richard Pearce the following year.

1997

New Atlantic 75 lifeboat B-737 placed on service on 1 July.

On 18 November the Atlantic 75 class lifeboat had been called on service.  After searching for an hour in heavy surf conditions the lifeboat was caught by a large breaking sea and capsized.  One crewman was thrown clear and was subsequently winched to safety by a coastguard helicopter.  The remaining crew managed to right the lifeboat but it capsized again close inshore and the boat and crew were washed ashore.  Fortunately no one was seriously injured and the boat was recovered with remarkably little damage.

The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum accorded to Helmsman Mark Smith and crew member Mark Hayes and Framed Letters of Thanks signed by the Chairman of the Institution to crew members Berenice McCall and Anthony Parsons for a service to a man over board from the yacht Xanadu on 7 December.

1998

The Walter and Elizabeth Groombridge Award for the most meritorious service performed by an Atlantic 21 class lifeboat during 1997 was awarded to Helmsman Mark Smith and crew member Mark Hayes for the service on 7 December detailed above.

2000

New shore facility completed, work started in August 1999 and cost £299,775.

2010

The Trustees of the RNLI at their meeting on 3 November confirmed an anniversary Vellum to acknowledge the completion of 150 years aggregated service as a lifeboat station in 2009.

2011

The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum accorded to Helmsman Mark Smith of the station’s Atlantic inshore lifeboat for saving a man’s life.  He was overboard from the yacht Lady Cilla on 26 May 2011.  This difficult rescue took place close to the marina entrance, in rough seas and force 7 winds.  The man’s situation was exacerbated by the fact he was tethered to the yacht.  Crew member Marcus Morris, who was put aboard the casualty received a Framed Letter of Thanks signed by the Chairman for his contribution to the service.

A new Atlantic 85 B class lifeboat, B-852, Random Harvest was placed on service on 8 September.  Lifeboat B-737 withdrawn. 

MEDAL RECORD

Ten Medals have been awarded, one Gold, seven Silver and two Bronze.