Station history

The Fishguard lifeboat station was taken over the Institution at the request of the inhabitants in 1855.  It was originally established in 1822 with a lifeboat built locally.

1834

Silver Medal awarded to Lieut Thomas Evans RN for rescuing the Master and crew of the Sloop Ranger that was wrecked in very heavy seas off Fishguard on 29 November 1833.

1844

Silver Medal awarded to Captain Thomas Evans RN for the rescue of six men by lifeboat from the Schooner Trevor on 17 February 1836 and ‘…for long continuing exertions in the cause of humanity’.

1845

Silver Medal awarded to John Acraman for the rescue of the masters and crews of both the schooner Ann and Elizabeth and the brig Antelope, which were wrecked at Fishguard in severe weather conditions on 2 December 1844.

1847

Silver Medals awarded to John Evans, Master of the Schooner Royal George and William Jenkins for the rescue of the Master, Thomas Jones, and six men from the Sloop Sir Peregrine that was driven ashore in foul weather conditions and sank on 22 October 1946.

Silver Medals awarded to Martha and Margaret Llewellyn for wading into the sea and rescuing three men, from the smack Margaret that was stranded on the beach at Fishguard in severe weather conditions on 22 October 1846.

1849

Silver Medal awarded to Acting Master William Rees, for rescuing the master and five crew of the brig Lady Kenmure that was wrecked on Goodwick Sands on 29 January 1849.

1861

Silver Medals awarded to David Beddoe and Albert Furlong for rescuing at considerable risk of life, by ropes and other means, two men from the Sloop Elizabeth and Mary that was wrecked during a heavy gale on 19 February 1861.

1866

Crew member C Grinder died from the effects of a service.

1867

The RNLI paid £5 to Anne Grinder, widow of Charles Grinder, who died as a result of exposure during a service on the Fishguard lifeboat.

1873

Silver Medal awarded to Coxswain James White in acknowledgement of his gallant services on several occasions in assisting to save 50 lives from various wrecks.

1875

Silver Second Service Clasp awarded to Coxswain James White when during a terrible gale on 14 November 1874 the lifeboat was launched to four different vessels in distress and rescued 16 lives.

1877

Silver Medal Third Service Clasp awarded to Coxswain James White for the rescue, in the number two lifeboat The Fraser, of four people from the dandy Adventure showing signals of distress near Goodwick Sands and 11 people from the brig B F Nash seen through the darkness to be going aground during a heavy gale on 20 February 1877.  On the 23 February the gale increased in fury and three vessels at anchor in the roadstead showed distress signals.  The number one lifeboat Sir Edward Perrott was launched and forcing her way through the heavy sea succeeded in saving two people for the George Evans four people from the Adventurer and three people from the Supply, all were landed at 4.30 am.   It immediately became necessary to launch again to the brig B.F.Nash the crew having returned to her and were now in danger.  Soon after reaching her however, the tide ebbed and the crew decided to remain on board.

Slipway for No 2 lifeboat entirely destroyed by the sea.

1882

Lifeboat launched five times in a fresh north north easterly gale on 16 November to 15 different vessels and rescued 46 lives.

1886

No 1 lifeboat was launched on 8 December to a reported fishing boat in distress during a hurricane and very rough sea and on return capsized and all the crew were thrown out; fortunately no lives were lost.

1888

Honorary Secretary of 31 years Mr William Vaughan, was succeeded by his son Mr W G Vaughan, who subsequently resigned in 1912 after 24 years’ service.

1889

Coxswain James White resigned after 23 years’ service.  He had been awarded the Silver Medal and two bars.

1899

Silver Medal awarded to Coxswain James Thomas, in recognition of his general gallant services in saving life from shipwreck.

1902

District Inspector reported that up to then a single crew had been enrolled for the two lifeboats.

1906

Silver Medal awarded to James Thomas on his resignation as Coxswain Superintendent.

1907

No 1 station closed.

1909

Motor lifeboat sent to station.

1911

Lifeboat house removed to a new site and slipway constructed by the GW Railway.

1920

Lifeboat house removed to a new site and slipway constructed by the GW Railway.

1921

Gold Medal awarded to Coxswain John Howells Silver Medals to Thomas O Davies, Robert E Simpson and Thomas Holmes, and Bronze Medals to the rest of the crew for the rescue of seven from the Dutch motor schooner Hermina, which was totally wrecked on the Needle Rock during a strong northerly gale and tremendously heavy sea on 3 December 1920.  The lifeboat sustained considerable damage in effecting this rescue.  The Queen of Holland presented a gold watch to Coxswain John Howells, and silver watches to the other 12 members of the crew for this service.  

A celebration Centenary Vellum was awarded.

1934

Member of crew washed out of lifeboat on service but was recovered.

1944

On 10 December at 4:46 in the afternoon a message was received from the coastguard that a vessel had sent up red flares about seven miles west of Strumple Head.  A moderate north-west wind was blowing, with a rough sea.  At six o’clock the motor lifeboat White Star was launched and found the SS Dan Beard, of New Orleans, wrecked.  There was no one on board.  When the lifeboat had made certain of this she searched for survivors, but found nothing except a ship’s lifebuoy with a light.   One of the lifeboat’s crew, T M Neal was taken seriously ill, so the lifeboat returned to her station and he was landed and taken home by a police car.  He was paralysed, and shortly afterwards he died.  The lifeboat informed the coastguard of her fruitless search and the naval authorities asked her to launch again and continue it.  This she did but she found neither the boats nor men and returned to her station at ten o’clock next morning.  The Institution paid the funeral expenses.

1953

Mr M L Nicholls resigned after being honorary secretary since 1916.  He was awarded binoculars in 1926, gold badge in 1948, MBE in 1950 and appointed Honorary Life Governor in 1953.

1972

150th Anniversary Vellum awarded.

1981

HRH The Duke of Kent named the new lifeboat on 27 October.

1984

A Letter of Thanks signed by the Chairman of the Institution awarded to Coxswain Francis George, in recognition of his leadership and good judgement when the lifeboat saved the fishing vessel Oneida and rescued her crew of three in a south-south-easterly gale and a rough sea on 30 November.

1994

Blue Peter VII ON1198, a Trent class lifeboat the RNLI’s newest design, was placed on service at Fishguard on 2 September.

1995

D class lifeboat sent to station on 21 April.

1996

D class lifeboat withdrawn and replaced by a new D class lifeboat D505 on Wednesday 24 July.

2003

Coxswain Francis George has been honoured by Her Majesty The Queen, in the recent New Years Honours List with an MBE for services to the Institution.

2006

The new class of lifeboat IB1, D652 Team Effort was placed on service on Monday 10 April.  D505 has been withdrawn to the Relief Fleet.

2007

The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum accorded to Helmsman Stephen Done for saving the lives of two teenagers stranded on a rock ledge on 7 August 2006.  The D class lifeboat was taken into a small cove amongst breaking waves and clapotic seas to save them.  The other crew members, Dr Joanne Boughton and Robert Lanham each received a Framed Letter of Thanks signed by the Chairman of the Institution Admiral Sir Jock Slater.

MEDAL RECORD

Twenty-eight medals have been awarded, one Gold, 18 Silver and nine Bronze.  The last medals were voted in 1920.