Station history

A lifeboat paid for by local subscriptions was placed at Newhaven in 1803.  She was moved to Brighton in 1809.  The Institution gave a boat in 1825; this was sent to Cowes in 1829.  The Shipwrecked Fishermen and Mariners’ Royal Benevolent Society re-opened the station in 1852, taken over by the RNLI in 1854.

1827

Silver Medal to Seaman J Sullivan for rescuing three of the four seamen who were in a boat from HM ship Hyperion that capsized on 15 November 1826.

1833

Silver Medals awarded to Lt Rawston RN, Lt Grandy RN and Thomas Morgan, Mate on the Revenue Cutter Stork for rescuing five people by Manby Apparatus from the smack John of Jersey that was wrecked in Seaford Bay during a heavy gale on 11 February.

Silver Medal awarded to Lt James Read RN for rescuing three people by rope communication from the wrecked sloop Industry that was wrecked in a south-westerly gale on 16 June.

1849

Silver Medal awarded to Mr Abraham H Young Chief Boatman HM Coastguard for rescuing the Master and five men from the La Fayette wrecked at Newhaven on an excessively dark night with heavy seas on 29 November 1848.

1860

Silver Medal to Gunner Charles Leese in recognition of his gallant and highly meritorious conduct in wading into the surf and assisting to rescue two crew of the bring Annie and saving at the risk of his own life a 12 year old boy from the schooner Woodside wrecked in gale force winds on 2 June.

1878

Coxswain E Muett was drowned whilst coming down from Lewes to Newhaven in a barge.

1881

The lifeboat was launched on 26 November to the brig Harriet of Newhaven but as her services were not required she was returning to her station when a heavy sea struck her on her port side and she capsized, fortunately without loss of life.

1896

Gas and water laid on to lifeboat house. Electricity 1920.

1898

Arrangements made for steamer to tow lifeboat out when required for service.

1904

The first lifeboat fitted with an engine, ON343, was sent to Newhaven for water trials.

1908

Lifeboat damaged on groyne whilst on service on 1 September in very severe weather. No lives lost.

1910

Granted £200 to widow of Joseph Richards, a member of the crew whose death was accelerated by exposure on service on 3 December.

1924

Bronze Medal awarded to Coxswain Richard Payne for a skilful and gallant service on 27 November when the crew of the tug Richmere were rescued in a whole gale. Whilst the lifeboat was alongside, the tug gave a heavy roll and smashed the lifeboat’s gunwale and hull.

1926

Bronze Medal awarded to Mr C J Skinner, when on the afternoon of 21 July he saw the yacht Fidelity with three people on board, dismasted and being driven ashore. The lifeboat was alongside the yacht, but the casualties crew were too exhausted to jump. Mr Skinner, a passing motor cyclist, saw the situation and with a rope around his waist, plunged into the breakers and two of the three people were saved.

1928

A Centenary Vellum awarded to station.

1929

Assistant Mechanic washed out on service but was recovered.

Coxswain Payne injured on service. He retired in 1930 on account of ill heath attributed to the accident. He died in June 1931.

1930

Silver Medal awarded to Coxswain Richard Payne in recognition his judgement, courage and skill when the crew of 10 of the Danish schooner Mogens Koch, which was wrecked at Cuckmere, were rescued in severe weather on 7 December 1929.  On reaching the casualty, lying stern on to the sea the lifeboat after several attempts went alongside and took off the 10 men one at a time before fighting her way back to Newhaven through horrific seas. 

1931

Coxswain Richard Payne died on 3 June from injuries received whilst on service to SS Morgens Koch on 7 December.

1941

The Newhaven lifeboat Cecil and Lilian Philpott was one of the 19 lifeboats that took part in the evacuation of the BEF from Dunkirk.

1943

Signalman Benjamin Clark was washed out of the lifeboat and drowned whilst on service to HM Trawler Avanturine on 23 November.

1944

Silver Medal awarded to Coxswain Leonard A J Peddlesden and Bronze Medals to crew members Frederick Parker, Richard Lower, Benjamin Clark (post), Alfred Eager, Stephen Holden, Harold Moore, and Stanley Winter for a service on 23 November 1943 to the trawler Avanturine in a gale with very rough sea and continuous heavy rain in recognition of their gallantry and endurance in carrying out this service in spite of Signalman Clark being washed out of the lifeboat and lost, injuries sustained by other members of the crew  and damaged to the lifeboat, which they all knew to be severe.  

1952

The Brighton Round Table presented a clock to the Newhaven crew to hang in the lifeboat house.

1953

A Commemorative Vellum for 150 years awarded to station.

1954

When Second Coxswain S Winter retired from the service in 1954 a family record of 100 years association with Newhaven lifeboats was interrupted.  From 1854-1954 there was always a Winter in the crew.

1955

Silver Medal awarded to Coxswain William Harvey for the rescue of the crew of eight of the Danish schooner Vega that was in difficulties a severe gale 25 miles south-west of Beachy Head. Arriving on scene the casualty was found to be listing 30º and rolling winldly with her cargo loose and the booms swinging violently. Coxswain Harvey ordered a breeches buoy to be rigged and the crew were brought safely aboard the lifeboat. The Maud Smith award for the bravest act of life-saving in 1954 was won by Coxswain William Harvey for this service.

1988

A Framed Letter of Thanks signed by the Chairman of the Institution awarded to Coxswain Leonard Patten in recognition of his perserverance and expert boathandling when the lifeboat rescued the crew of five of the French fishing vessel La Francoise and saved the vessel in a violent south-westerly storm and very rough seas on 16 October 1987.

1999

The new station Severn class lifeboat ON1243 David and Elizabeth Acland was placed on service October 1999.  Lifeboat ON1106 Keith Anderson has been withdrawn.

2002

The Trustee Meeting held on 27 November decided that Newhaven Lifeboat Station be awarded a Vellum to commemorate the completion of 200 years service in 2003.

2004

New shore facilities completed in April at a cost of £1.179,936.

2006

A Framed Letter of Thanks signed by the Chairman of the Institution Admiral Sir Jock Slater awarded to Coxswain Ian Johns in recognition of his seamanship and leadership when two people were saved on 1 August 2006. They had been swept into the sea and were trapped in heavy surf and an undertow. The all weather lifeboat David and Elizabeth Acland had to operate in shallow hazardous water close to the breakwater to carry out the rescue.

2012

Coxswain Ian Johns awarded the MBE for services to Maritime Safety in the New Years honours.

MEDAL RECORD

Nineteen Medals have been awarded, 10 Silver and nine Bronze, the last being voted in 1955.

FOREIGN AWARDS

The King of Denmark awarded a gold watch to Coxswain Payne and silver goblets to the rest of the crew for the rescue of the crew of 10 of the Danish schooner Mogens Koch on 7 December 1929.