Ramsey's station history


The crew of Ramsey have been awarded five Medals, four Silver and one Bronze, the last being voted in 1942.


In 1937 the Finnish Government awarded a Silver Medal to Coxswain Lord and Bronze Medals to the rest of the crew for services rendered to the ss Esbo of Helsingfors on 19 October 1937.

The station was established in 1829, five years after the Institution itself was founded. The Institution took over the station in 1868.


Silver Medal awarded to Mr John Covin for the rescue of six people from the schooner Hazelwood.


Lifeboat house constructed at a cost of £145.


Silver Medal awarded to Coxswain Robert Fell on his retirement in recognition of his gallant services.


Lifeboat was out on service twice on 1 November 1887 in a sea and a storm the like of which the honorary secretary stated had not visited the coast within the memory of man. On returning some of the ropes attached to the drogue broke because of the great strain and the boat broached to and filled. The crew righted her and all regained the boat without loss of life.


New lifeboat forwarded to station and old lifeboat was presented to the town.

New lifeboat house with a crew reading room and house for the coxswain constructed at cost of £1,731.


Slipway constructed at a cost of £440. Ramsey Town Commissioners paid Institution £300 for site of old lifeboat house. Old lifeboat house sold for £22 10 0d.

Silver Medal awarded to honorary secretary, Mr Edward C Kerr, and Coxswain Robert Garrett, for the rescue of 18 people from the dredger Walter Bibby and the schooner Margaret. The lifeboat launched into a violent northerly gale with rough cross seas and heavy rain squalls on 7 November to assist the steam dredger WalterBibby, riding at anchor a mile and a half south of Ramsey Harbour in serious danger, and despite violent gusts of wind and the rolling of the dredger, took off the 15 men on board and as the boat was unable to regain her station, landed them south of Ramsey. On 11 November the lifeboat launched in a gale with thick, very cold weather and rain but while being hauled off by warp an immense wave caused damage. Stern to the wind the lifeboat rode on the warp until daylight. The Belfast vessel Margaret was seen a mile to the north and by 0800 her three man crew had been taken off and landed safely.


Slipway altered at a cost of £132.


In attempting to take off the crew of a vessel whilst on service on 10 December 1893, the lifeboat was engulfed and six men were washed out of the lifeboat. They all regained the boat.


Lifeboat was badly damaged through being thrown into the harbour in order to take her on service on 7 February, when she rescued two men.


Acetylene beach light provided.


When the lifeboat was being taken out for exercise on 1 September one of the main axle arms of the carriage broke and a wheel fell over on to two spectators, a boy named Howell and a Mr Haworth. Mr Haworth received an ex gratia payment of £100.


In view of the difficulty of obtaining horses, arrangements were made for a lorry to draw the lifeboat on to the road.


A Centenary Vellum awarded to station.


Bronze Medal awarded to Coxswain John Comish for the rescue of the crew of 13 of the Aberdeen trawler Strathairlie that ran ashore on a very dark night in a strong south-south-easterly wind at Skellig Bay on 20 November 1941.  In a heavy on shore sea it was impossible for the lifeboat to get alongside the casualty so Coxswain Comish anchored, dropped down on his cable, and managed to get two lines on board the casualty, then hauled on these lines just far enough for a man to jump aboard when a sea had passed, and hauled out again on the cable before the next sea.  Thirteen times he took the lifeboat alongside the trawler in this way and was successful in rescuing the crew of 13.


The lifeboat Lady Harrison ran ashore on service on 6 January 1948 but no damage was done to the boat and no-one was injured. The ex-coxswain was washed out of her and was hauled aboard again by Second Coxswain Ball. Second Coxswain Ball received a letter of thanks.


Assistant Motor Mechanic Albert Cottier, lost his life together with five other men when a rowing boat capsized on 8 March. Of the other men who lost their lives, Eric J Lyall had gone out in the lifeboat a number of times and Arnold Brew had frequently acted as helper at launches.


Crew member Mr E B Kinnin, died whilst putting on oilskins in lifeboat house, prior to launch on service to the fishing vessel Sea Lion.


A 150th Anniversary Vellum awarded to station.


The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum accorded to Coxswain James Kinnin in recognition of the skill, leadership and determination he displayed when the lifeboat rescued 14 people and saved the yachts Airy Fairy, Billy Whizz and Broadaxe which were in difficulties in North Ramsey Bay in a south-south-westerly storm and very rough seas on the night of 25/26 May.


A new boathouse was completed in January to accommodate the stations new Mersey class lifeboat. This was built on the site of the old boathouse, which was demolished after it was considered insufficient in size for the new boat. The new boathouse included workshop, store room, souvenir sales outlet and improved crew facilities.

A new Mersey Class lifeboat ON1171 Ann and James Ritchie was placed on service 12 July 1991. The lifeboat was funded by The Gough Ritchie Trust. The Oakley class lifeboat was withdrawn.


The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum was accorded to Coxswain James Kinnin in recognition of his leadership, courage and seamanship when the lifeboat Ann and James Ritchie rescued the sole occupant and the yacht Lugo which was close to the seawall at Ramsey after suffering engine failure in a heavy breaking surf and gale force winds in the early hours of the morning on 30 August 1992.