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Poole's station history


One Gold and seven Silver medals have been awarded, the last being voted in 1882.

Every time the first Poole lifeboat was launched the crew had to be taken by coach from the Antelope Hotel, High Street, to Sandbanks where the lifeboat house had been built.

The Poole lifeboat Thomas Kirk Wright was one of the 19 lifeboats that took part in the evacuation of the B.E.F. from Dunkirk.


Gold Medal awarded to Captain Charles Howe Fremantle RN for his attempt to rescue the crew of a Swedish boat at Christchurch on 8 March 1824.

Silver Medals awarded to George Barnes and Stephen Curtis for the rescue of two of the crew of the Hero which went aground off Christchurch Head on 23 November 1824.


Silver Medal awarded to Lieut J Elwin RN for the rescue of two of the crew of the ship Lark which was driven ashore near Lymington on 23 November 1824.


Silver Medal awarded to Lieut T Parsons RN for the rescue by Coastguard galley of eight people from the barque William Glenanderson wrecked during a heavy gale on 27 December 1852 at Boscombe.


Silver Medals awarded to The Right Hon The Viscount Bury MP and Mr Charles Pride for their gallant conduct in going off in an open boat on 6 October 1868 and saving at the risk of their lives one man from the fishing boat Alarm which had capsized on Christchurch Bar.


Arranged to pay £5 for the services of a tug each time it was required by the lifeboat.


Lifeboat house removed to new site leased by Corporation at Poole Quay.

Silver Medal awarded to Coxswain Richard Stokes for long and gallant services since 1867.


James Hughes, a member of the crew, fell in front of the main wheels of the carriage whilst getting out of the lifeboat after an exercise on 9 October, and was killed. The Committee of Management voted £50 to local fund in aid of dependants.


Flagstaff erected to answer signals from the sandhills at the entrance of the harbour.


Gas service provided.


Socket sound signals discontinued and a mortar supplied to assemble crew.


Slipway constructed in line with the lifeboat house as the Corporation slipway used by the lifeboat was blocked by boats. Slipway cost £135.


The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum and £1 10/- each was awarded to Coxswain Richard Wills, Messrs Thomas Wills, John Wills, Richard Cartridge, and Henry Russell for rescuing two men from a capsized fishing vessel at Christchurch Ledges in a very heavy ground sea on 18 December 1906. This was a shore boat service.


Approved that rocket distress signals be substituted for the mortar so as to avoid explosions at the Gas Works being mistaken for the mortar.


Launched on service 8/9 January to assistance of an ex-German submarine manned by a Japanese crew. Crew of 21 rescued.


The lifeboat was launched to a capsized sailing dinghy Stormwind on 2 January and rescued a boy; his father and brother were drowned. The widow gave the dinghy a trailer and gear to the Institution to dispose of. The sale realised £60.


D class lifeboat sent to station in March.


Centenary Vellum awarded to station.


A Hatch class lifeboat (18-03) sent to station in 1967 but was withdrawn the following year.


Dell Quay Dory (17-003) (502A) sent to station in June.


D class lifeboat withdrawn in January.


Lifeboat station established at Poole Harbour Yacht Club Marina, Lilliput.


Lifeboat station at Fisherman's Dock became a Lifeboat Museum.


A Brede class lifeboat ON1089 Inner Wheel placed on service to replaced ON1003. The cost of this lifeboat was met by an appeal organised by the Association of Inner Wheel Clubs in Great Britain and Ireland, together with other gifts and legacies.


Dell Quay Dory withdrawn and replaced in January by a Boston Whaler.


The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum was accorded to crew members David Coles, Steven Vince and Raymond Collin in recognition of their physical exertions, grim determination and ingenuity when struggling through mud waist deep to rescue a boy and a girl from marshland in Poole Harbour in the darkness of the night of 1 July.


Lifeboats re-sited at the Town Quay adjacent to Poole Bridge.


A two-story extension to the police services building on Poole Quay was constructed. Facilities include a fuel and oil stores, general purpose store, an office, and crew facilities. Extension officially opened by the Mayor of Poole on 27 July. The cost of the building and the design costs were partially funded by Poole Council and the Borough Architects Department.


The Old Lifeboat Station situated at Fishermans Dock on the Town Quay, which was used as an RNLI museum, was surrendered to the council.


Floating boathouse constructed at the berth of the present lifeboat, for the housing of an Atlantic class lifeboat.

The last of the A class lifeboats (Boston Whaler) was withdrawn from Poole on 28 November and replaced by an Atlantic 21 class lifeboat.


Framed Letter of Thanks signed by the Chairman were presented to Coxswain Steve Vince and crew members Robert Doak and Geoffrey Langley for the service on 29 June 1994 to the yacht Bloodhound. The skipper had gone overboard leaving one woman and three children on the yacht. The skipper was found and before taking the yacht in tow crew members Robert Doak and Geoffrey Langley transferred to the casualty and brought it under control.

The new station Atlantic 75 class lifeboat B710 Friendly Forester II was placed on service on Wednesday 26 April 1995. This lifeboat was provided by a generous gift from the Ancient Order of Foresters Friendly Society in memory of Nora Gladys Green.


Framed Letter of Thanks signed by the Chairman of the Institution, Mr Peter Nicholson, awarded to Helmsman Gavin McGuiness and crew members Anne Millman and Paul Savage for service on 5 May 2001. It had been a busy afternoon when both lifeboats were called to the Poole Chain Ferry where four dinghies, taking part in a race had been caught by a strong ebb tide and pinned against the ferry’s side. Helmsman McGuiness laid the inshore lifeboat alongside the ferry whist the two crew members struggled to recover a man form the sea. Both the man and the lifeboat were in danger of being sucked under the ferry. The Poole intermediate lifeboat passed a line to the inshore lifeboat, which enabled it to be towed free and the man recovered from the sea.

Tyne class lifeboat ON1131 City of Sheffield sent to station 5 September.  This changes the station from an Intermediate to an All Weather lifeboat station.


Floating boathouse adaptation completed in December at a cost of £20,000. Funded by the generous bequest of Mr George Thomas Lacy, whose bequest also funded the refit of ON1131. 

A new station Atlantic 85 class lifeboat B826 Sgt Bob Martin (Civil Service No.50) was placed on service. Lifeboat B710 has been withdrawn.


It was resolved by the Trustee Board at their meeting on 4 April 2012 that the Tyne class ALB would be withdrawn from Poole once a Shannon class ALB is placed on service at Swanage. In addition, a D class ILB will be co-located with the existing B class ILB to provide greater operational flexibility.


In February, 20 volunteer crew members and station personnel of Poole RNLI Lifeboat Station were presented with Her Majesty The Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medals by HM Lord-Lieutenant of Dorset Mrs Anthony Pitt-Rivers on behalf of HM The Queen.


Poole Lifeboat Station celebrated its 150th anniversary on 19 January 2015. During its 150-year history the charity's lifeboats in Poole have launched over 5,000 times, saved over 800 lives and rescued over 4,000 people.


The end of an era was marked on Saturday 12 November 2016 as Poole Lifeboat Station said its fond farewells to the all-weather Tyne class lifeboat City of Sheffield as she departed Poole Harbour for the last time. A poignant blessing and moving ceremony, watched by well-wishers, saw the lifeboat and her crew sail away, accompanied by the station's two inshore lifeboats, a flotilla of vessels and Coastguard helicopter.


6 March saw the new boat house craned into the water for a float test, and then floated down between the quays, guided expertly by Jenkins Marine, through the 1.30 bridge and alongside outside the lifeboat station ready for the next phase of putting it into position.

On 23 June the naming service of the D class D-804 Gladys Maud Burton and the handing over of the new floating Boathouse took place.

Mr Tim Sharpley represented the late Gladys Maud Burton, who lived in Lilliput, Poole and died in February 2010 aged 100. He shared that her husband had fought in the Second World War and talked about the experiences of the huge Atlantic swells, Gladys lived by the sea all her life and admired the RNLI and by all accounts she was a ‘formidable’ lady, and altruistic, as her generous bequest to Poole Lifeboat Station left a legacy that was used to fund the D class that bears her name ‘Gladys Maud Burton’ and along with other legacies and donations to fund the new floating boathouse.