RNLI shops, museums and the College will open as Government guidance allows. Lifeboat stations remain operational but are not open to visitors.

Dart's station history

Opened 7 November 2007
Formally Dartmouth

Dart Lifeboat Station was formally established by the Trustees Committee on 7 November 2007.  There was a station previously at Dartmouth from 1878 until 1896 see attached page for details.


Relief inshore lifeboat D-520 Bob Savage transferred 8 August for evaluation.

Inshore lifeboat station was completed in October at a cost of £175,000.


A new station D class lifeboat D-702 Spirit of the Dart was placed on service in July and was funded by Caterford (South West) Ltd.  Lifeboat D-523 Peterborough Beer Festival 1 has been withdrawn to the relief fleet.


D-702 Spirit of the Dart, was replaced on 4 August 2019 by D-838 Dudley Jane, donated by Mrs Sarah Fuller.


Following a 20 month trial with Atlantic 75s, on 28 August 2020, the Trustees recognised the Atlantic 85, Norma Ethel Vinall from the relief fleet as a Search and Rescue asset at the Dart station. She operates from an enlarged Aqua Dock attached to a pontoon in Dartmouth harbour.

Dart Lifeboat Station. The busy station operates a D class lifeboat which was joined by an Atlantic 85 in August 2020

Dartmouth, South Devon

The establishment of this station in 1878 is recorded in the Lifeboat Journal of 1 February 1879 whilst a fuller description of the station is given in the Journal of 1 November 1888 following the arrival of a new lifeboat.


Silver Medal awarded to Lt. William Lane of the Coastguard for the rescue of the crew of five men from the fishing boat Victoire, of France when she was wrecked in heavy seas and a fierce gale on June 29th.


Silver Medal awarded to Lt. James Clayton of the Coastguard for his rescue of two, the ship’s Master and a young boy, from the sloop Harmony of Brixham, when she ran aground near Dartmouth in heavy seas and a full gale on January 7th.


On March 23rd the barque Spirit of the Ocean of London was driven ashore in exceptionally heavy seas and a severe north-easterly gale. The accident was witnessed by Mr Samuel Popplestone, a local farmer, who immediately went to assist. Mr Popplestone lowered himself over a cliff face to the beach below where he searched for survivors. He pulled two people out of the wreck and recovered them to safety where all three men were later recovered by the coastguard. This brave rescue prompted Queen Victoria to establish the Albert Medal for exceptional gallantry, of which Mr Popplestone was the first recipient.


Lifeboat house built on land used by Dartmouth Boat Club.  The site was owned by Raleigh Estates.  Cost £300.


Slipway built at Sandquay, cost £61.


Silver Medal awarded to Mr William Kelland for the rescue of one man. A collision occurred between a small boat and a Pilot Cutter in freezing temperatures and rough seas on January 14th. The Dart lifeboat was launched to assist the Pilot Cutter’s boarding boat, which Mr Kelland and another colleague were manning in an attempt to rescue the five crew of the small boat. Despite Mr Kellands gallant efforts, only one man could be saved, the Dart lifeboat conducting a fruitless search for the other four crew.


Station closed.  Lifeboat house sold for £100.

Coxswains Year Hon Secretaries Year
No Records - Major Percy Hockin 1878-1891
- - Henry Hooks, HMC  1891-1896
 -  -  T S Mitchell 1896-1898


ON Lifeboat name Period Launches Lives rescued Cost
-  Maud Hargreaves
Gift of Mrs Emma Hargreaves of Claygate, Surrey
1878-1887 0 328
129  Henry and Amanda Shaw
Gift of Mrs Shaw of Exeter
 1887-1896 3 0 517