Station history

A lifeboat was established at Penarth in 1861 on the northern shore of the Bristol Channel where vessels frequently stranded on the shoals. With the establishment of the lifeboat stations at Barry Dock and Weston-Super-Mare, it was decided to close the Penarth station in 1905. In 1980 it was decided to re-open the station and a D Class inflatable lifeboat became operational on 17 June 1980 some 75 years after the original station closed.

1861

Lifeboat house built facing sea at foot of cliff below the coastguard station, cost £118.

1884

Lord Windsor decided to built an Esplanade immediately in front of the lifeboat house, this meant relocation. Lord Windsor paid £200 compensation. New boathouse built on Penarth beach for £250.

1888

Water service provided.

1891

On 11 November a Penarth lifeboat man, John Frederick Jackson, and another man, known only as Redmond, were killed when they put off in a pilot cutter to rescue a man who had gone overboard from his own boat in fierce winds and high seas in the Barry Roads. He too also died. The RNLI made a contribution of £25 to the local funds for the widows and orphans.

1905

Station closed.

1907

The old lifeboat house sold for £10.

1980

Station re-opened on 17 June with a D class inflatable lifeboat.

1995

New boathouse and adjacent slipway constructed. The new boathouse provides housing for a B class lifeboat and launching vehicle, a workshop, souvenir sales outlet, oil and petrol stores, and improved crew facilities.

1996

An Atlantic 21 lifeboat placed on temporary station duty on 19 January.

The Atlantic 21 class lifeboat withdrawn on 15 May and replaced by the Atlantic 75 class lifeboat B-725 Spirit of Penarth.

2002

A Framed Letter of Thanks signed by the Chairman of the Institution Mr Peter Nicholson, presented to Helmsman Simeon Rabaiotti, for the saving of a man’s life on the evening of 25 May 2002. The man, who had been fishing, had been cut off by the tide. The ILB was veered down through rough seas and in a heavy three metre swell amidst rocks. The lifeboats anchor warp had to be cut to leave the scene.

2008

The new station IFI D class lifeboat D-692 Connie Dains was placed on service on 19 March. Lifeboat D534 has been withdrawn.

2010

The new station Atlantic 85 class lifeboat B-839 Maureen Lilian was placed on service in February. B-725 lifeboat has been withdrawn to the relief fleet. This lifeboat was funded by a generous donation from the Maureen Lilian Charitable Trust.

2012

Helmsman Jason Dunlop and Crew member Aran Pitter were both accorded the Thanks of the Institute inscribed on Vellum in recognition of their leadership, seamanship skills and actions when the inshore lifeboat placed crew member Pitter on board a yacht in danger close to Lavernock Point on 2 May 2011. It took three attempts to close the yacht in east north easterly near gale force winds and short, one and a half metre seas. The yacht was massively overpowered and in danger of broaching. Once the yacht was under Pitters command, a second man was transferred from the Barry Dock all weather lifeboat and put aboard by the Penarth lifeboat. Pitter then sailed the yacht to Barry Dock, escorted by both lifeboats thereby enabling the yacht, and the life of her skipper, to be saved.