Station history

The station was established by the Institution in 1877 at the request of the local residents.

1877

Lifeboat house constructed at a cost of £280. The lifeboat had to be lowered into the dock by a crane with a ladder under the crane for the crew to get into the lifeboat.

1891

Flagstaff erected.

1899

On 19 December lifeboat was being lowered into the water by a crane when the hook of the crane broke and the boat fell 14 feet sustaining serious damage.

1907

A new crane was provided at a cost of £275 to lift the lifeboat into and out of the water.

1914

Silver Medal was awarded to Coxswain James Smith Jnr for gallantly rescuing the crew of five of the ss Dunira of Glasgow, which was totally wrecked off Portpatrick in a very rough sea on 15 December 1913. Coxswain Smith took the lifeboat alongside and two crewmembers jumped aboard just before the anchor chains parted. The coxswain, with great skill, manoeuvred the lifeboat alongside to rescue the remaining three crew when the steamer was only 100 yards from the rocks. During the service the mast of the lifeboat was carried away.

1932

Bronze Medal awarded to Coxswain John Campbell for his skill and courage in rescuing the crew of 10 of the Belfast Steamer Camlough in very dangerous waters on 14 January 1932. After a long and hazardous tow by the SS Moyella, escorted by the lifeboat, the casualty dropped both anchors in Luce Bay but they would not hold and the ship was quickly carried towards the rocks. The lifeboat anchored and dropped down, stern first, a line was fired and the lifeboat hauled alongside enabling the eight crew to jump into the lifeboat. This service lasted nearly 12 hours, the lifeboat travelling 70 miles with the coxswain at the wheel the whole time.

1953

Bronze Medal awarded to Coxswain William McConnell and Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum accorded to Mechanic James Mitchell for the service to the Princess Victoria on 31 January, when the lifeboat rescued two survivors. The Princess Victoria bound for Larne with 125 passengers and 49 crew foundered approximately four miles north east of Mew Island with the loss of 130 lives in a full northerly gale increasing to hurricane force, snow squalls and a very rough sea. Coxswain William McConnell was awarded the British Empire Medal as well as The Mrs G M Porter Award for the bravest deed in 1953 for this service.

1977

Centenary Vellum presented to the station.

1989

Solent class lifeboat withdrawn and replaced by a Tyne class.

1992

An extension to the boathouse commenced as well as alterations providing a souvenir outlet, a galley, a general-purpose store and a lookout training room and improved crew facilities. Completed 1993.

1996

A collective Framed Letter of Thanks signed by the Chairman, Sir Michael Vernon was awarded to Coxswain/Mechanic Robert Erskine, Second Coxswain Quinton Mckie, Assistant Mechanic Colin Atkinson and crew members Kevin Shuttleworth, Calum Currie, Cameron Ritchie and Thomas Monteith in recognition of their teamwork, seamanship and determination when the Mary Irene Millar lifeboat rescued the crew of three and saved the fishing vessel Mourne Endeavour which was taking water six miles south west of Portpatrick in very heavy seas and winds gusting to Force 10 on the evening of 23 November 1995.

2009

For services to Maritime Safety Coxswain Robert Erskine has been honoured by Her Majesty the Queen in the recent Birthday Honours; - Member, Order of the British Empire (MBE).

2011

A new class of lifeboat, a Tamar, ON1301 John Buchanan Barr was placed on service on 13 November. Lifeboat ON1151 has been withdrawn to the relief fleet.

MEDAL RECORD

Three medals have been awarded, one Silver and two Bronze, the last being voted in 1953.