Station history

The station was established in 1827 but little is known of its history before it was taken over by the Institution in 1852 from Lord Crewe’s trustees.  Between 1827 and 1852 Seahouses had two lifeboats.

Of these early years however one of the notable events was the attempt that men of Seahouses made to rescue the survivors of the Forfarshire wrecked in 1838.  Seven fishermen of Seahouses put out to the wreck only to find that the survivors had already been rescued by William Darling and Grace Darling, who set out from the lighthouse.

1853

Silver Medal awarded to John T Knight, coastguard boatman, for his exertions in attempting to rescue the crew of the Schooner Nisus of Goole, which was wrecked at Seahouses during a north-east gale on 26 February 1853.

1876

Captain Colquhoun presented a full set of fine wheel and trace harness to the station.

1886

Silver Medal awarded to Coxswain Thomas Pringle in recognition of his long and valuable service.

1894

Mortar supplied for assembling the crew in lieu of existing bell which was not satisfactory.

1908

Silver Medal awarded to Coxswain James Robson for gallantly rescuing the crew of 14 from the ss Geir of Bergen on 18 February.  The Geir had stranded on Knavestone Rock, Farne Islands, during a northerly gale with a heavy sea.  It was impossible for the lifeboat to go alongside her on account of the rocks but the coxswain manag1964d to land on a rock near the steamer, taking a lifebuoy with him.  Then the crew of the steamer got on to the rock by means of lines.  One by one they got into the lifebuoy and were hauled through the sea to the lifeboat, the coxswain being the last man to go aboard.

1909

The King of Norway conferred the Silver Medal on Coxswain James Robson for services in rescuing the crew from the ss Geir of Bergen.

1934

A Centenary Vellum awarded to station.

1948

When Mr E L Hooper was appointed as Honorary Secretary, it was stated that he was one of the men rescued by the Aldeburgh lifeboat from the Magdapur – one of the first lifeboat services of the 1939-45 war.

1959

Bronze Medal awarded to Coxswain Dawson for the rescue of a man from a cliff on the Inner Farne Islands on 12 July.  When the lifeboat approached, the man was seen hanging to a ledge on a high rocky face about 12 feet up with the sea breaking at his feet.  It would have been impossible for him to seize a line fired form the lifeboat and the lifeboat could not go nearer than 60 feet from the cliff.  Being the best swimmer Coxswain Dawson, knowing that Second Coxswain J G Walker was fully capable of assuming command, went overboard with a line attached to his lifejacket.  He made his way to the man on the cliff through the heavy ground sea.  The man was exhausted and also unable to swim.  Coxswain Dawson hauled over a lifejacket and put it on the man, and with great difficulty brought him down to a lower ledge.  From there the man was hauled off to the lifeboat with a rope that the coxswain had brought with him.  Coxswain Dawson was then himself hauled back to the lifeboat by the rope.

1964

D class lifeboat sent to station in May.

1977

A 150th Anniversary Vellum awarded to station.

1991

Mersey class lifeboat ON1173 Grace Darling placed on service.  A new boathouse was completed in June for the Mersey class lifeboat, after the existing house was considered unsuitable.  As well as providing accommodation for the Mersey lifeboat and carriage coupled to the tractor, it includes housing for the D class lifeboat, and crew facilities. 

1996

The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum was accorded to crew member Stephen Priestley.  When at the helm of the D class lifeboat he rescued a wind surfer in heavy seas and surf close to the shore, with a rock scar extending out from the coastline, just north west of the boathouse, on 18 May.

1997

New D class lifeboat D529 Martin John and Ann placed on service on 4 November.

1999

At a meeting of the Executive Committee of the RNLI held on 9 April 1999 it was resolved that the lifeboat station be renamed Seahouses Lifeboat Station with immediate effect, as requested by the station personnel.

2008

A new station D class lifeboat D-686 Peter Downes was placed on service on 10 January.  This lifeboat was generously funded by Carolyn McLaughlin and her family and friends.  Lifeboat D-529 Martin John and Ann has been withdrawn.

MEDAL RECORD

Four Medals have been awarded, Three Silver and one Bronze, the last being voted in 1959.