Station history

It was a direct result of two tragic shipwrecks, the steam-packet Providence and an unidentified schooner, on October 29th 1836 that moves were made to establish a lifeboat station at Bude.  The Rev Ellacoat wrote to H M King William IV reporting the loss of these two ships with all hands on board and requested that His Majesty authorise payment for a lifeboat to be stationed at Bude.

1837

Lifeboat built by Wakefield of Sunderland with the approval of RNLI.  This lifeboat was presented by King William IV and cost £100 and was officially named The Royal Bude Lifeboat.

1844

Lifeboat capsized while being exercised in Bude Harbour, two of her crew was drowned, they were N Bradden and W Skitch.

1845

Silver Medals were awarded to James Perkins, Thomas Paul, and Simon Bolitho, all coastguards, for the rescue of three men and one boy by Dennett’s Rockets from the schooner Margaret that was wrecked near Bude on 28 January 1845.

1853

Silver Medal awarded to W H Tregidgo for rescuing two from sloop Margaret that ran onto rocks and was wrecked in heavy seas on 9 October.

A new unnamed Peake class lifeboat, costing £135, was placed on service as the old lifeboat had been classed as unserviceable.

1858

Second-Service clasp to the Silver Medal awarded to W H Tregidgo and Silver medals awarded to J Stone, J P Sharrock, W R May and H Ellis of HM Coastguard for saving, by means of ropes, the crew of 16 and a pilot from the ship Defence, which was wrecked during stormy weather under the cliffs of Benney, St Juliot on 13 March.

1860

Silver Medal to J Dyer in acknowledgement of his gallant services in wading into the surf at the peril of his life and rescuing the Master of the schooner Beverley of Goole which, during a heavy gale, was wrecked under Upton Cliff near Bude on 26 October 1859.

Third-Service clasp to the Silver medal awarded to W H Tregidgo for putting off with two boats’ crews and rescuing two crews, consisting of 11 men from the schooner Union of Bannes and Lugger Anais of St Vaast, which were wrecked during a gale off Newquay, Cornwall on 26 October 1859.

1863

A new SR lifeboat Elizabeth Moore Garden 1, built at a cost of £260, was placed on service.

A new boathouse costing £292 was built at the side of the canal.

1865

Coastguard Officer Simpson was awarded a ‘Sabre of Honour’ by the Queen of Spain and Coxswain James Maynard a Gold Medal by the Spanish Government after a service to the brig Juanita, of Bilbao, who came ashore North of Bude.  Each man led a crew and waded out in the pounding surf to the brig, rescuing all onboard.

1877

Whilst returning to harbour after launching to assistance of schooner Elizabeth Scown on 3 March, the lifeboat was hit by a very heavy sea which smashed several of her oars and carried away her rudder; another heavy sea hit her and she capsized.  All the crew regained the lifeboat except the Coxswain, James Maynard, who was drowned.  Committee of Management voted £150 to dependants.

1881

Silver Medal awarded T Bate, coxswain of the Bude lifeboat, in acknowledgement of his gallant services in assisting, at considerable risk to life, to save four men on the occasion of the wreck of the ketch Stucley of Padstow breakwater on 31 December 1880. The Institution’s Thanks on Vellum was accorded to Mr George Tickell of H.M.S Defence for his assistance.

1886

A new SR lifeboat, also named Elizabeth Moore Garden 11 (ON52), built at a cost of £345, was placed on service.

1911

A new Rubie class SR lifeboat, also named Elizabeth Moore Garden 111 (ON616), built at a cost of £1,050, was placed on service.

1923

Station closed and lifeboat transferred to North Berwick.

1966

Inshore lifeboat station established in May with the placing on service of a D class lifeboat.

Royal Humane Society’s resuscitation certificate awarded to M Moyle and A J Lovejoy in connection with the service on 30 May when a bather was rescued.

1984

A celebration Vellum was awarded to commemorate the station’s aggregate service of 105 years covering the periods 1837 to 1923 and 1966 to 1984.

1987

A new D class inshore lifeboat D-343 was presented to the station provide by the kind generosity of many donors.

1991

A Framed Letter of Thanks signed by the Chairman of the Institution was awarded to crewmember Simon Chadwick for displaying personal courage and presence of mind on 30 June.  He volunteered to swim ashore from the lifeboat through breaking surf, to investigate the yacht Mary E hard aground on rocks at Pencarrow Point.  The 70-year old skipper and sole occupant was found half way up a crumbling cliff face and he was exhausted.  Simon Chadwick climbed the cliff and assisted in his rescue by helicopter.

1993

Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum was accorded to Helmsman Michael Sims in recognition of his leadership, skill and courage when he took the lifeboat stern first on the surf into a ledge and rescued two climbers, stranded at the base of the cliff inside Gull Rock, on the North side of Marshland Point, on the evening of 21 April.  The two climbers were part of a group of five who were in danger of being cut off by the rising tide.  Three of them were fit and willing to climb the cliff, but the fourth was suffering from shock and the other from lacerations, a suspected broken foot and back pains after a 30ft fall.

Framed Letters of Thanks signed by the Chairman of the Institution were presented to crew members James Wade, for entering the surf and swimming 15-20 feet to the ledge, and to Keith West (his first service launch) for the support he gave to both the survivors and his fellow crew members throughout the service.

1996

Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum was accorded to the crew members and shore helpers of the Bude Lifeboat Station who were involved in the search for a five year old girl who was swept from the rocks at Sandymouth Beach on 4 June.  They assembled again at 0530 the following day continuing the search of the water and the cliffs until 1500 when they were stood down, sadly without success.

A Framed Letter of Thanks signed by the Chairman of the Institution was presented to crew member Gary Parkinson when he went to the aid of two people in the water by jumping out of the lifeboat at the harbour entrance in heavy surf as it returned to the Boathouse to refuel during the above service.

New D class lifeboat D495 Elsie Francis 11 was placed on service on 30 March.

2000

Following trials, D495 became operational from the Summerleaze site, whilst a second operational D class lifeboat remained at the original site.

2002

A new D class boathouse completed in June at a cost of £516,000.

2004

The new class of lifeboat IB1, D617 was placed on service on Tuesday 11 May. D-422 has been withdrawn to the Relief Fleet.

2008

At a meeting of the Trustees held on 5 November it was resolved that Bude would be re-designated as an all year round station and that a RWC would also be provided during the winter months.

2012

The new station lifeboat D-756 George Bird was placed on service 27 December 2012. This lifeboat was funded by a donation from Mrs Patricia Bird in memory of George Bird. Lifeboat D617 Henry Philip has been withdrawn to the relief fleet.

MEDAL RECORD

Twelve medals have been awarded to the men of Bude, all Silver, the last being voted in 1881.