Shoreham Harbour Lifeboats' station history


Eight Medals for gallantry have been awarded – five Silver and three Bronze, the last award was in 1980.

There are records of a lifeboat being stationed here in 1845 by the Shoreham Harbour Commissioners, a boat 30ft by 8¾ft pulling 12 oars and costing £100.  This lifeboat appears to have saved two lives.

The present station was established by the Institution in 1865 and it was closed in 1924 owing to lack of water due to silting.  Five years later in 1929 the harbour bar which existed in 1924 having disappeared, it was decided to re-open the station and place a motor lifeboat there.


Silver Medal awarded to Abraham Young, Coastguard, for his gallant services in rescuing five men by rope communication from the smack Prince Rupert that was stranded at Copperas Gap on 8 February 1843.  Mr Young made himself fast to a rope flung from the smack and was then hauled on board through very heavy surf, helping the five crew to be landed safely.


New lifeboat house of brick built  on Kingston Beach by Mr A Thoncroft at a cost of £133 10 0d.


Slipway built at expense of Harbour Board.


Silver Medal awarded to Mr W T G Sheader, Examining Officer of HM Customs, who swam out through the surf in an unsuccessful attempt to rescue Robert Brazier when on 16 December 1874 the lifeboat capsized on exercise.  The Institution gave £150 to the local fund raised for his dependants.   The Institute incorrectly recoded his name as Brasier.


Station moved from inner side of Harbour to a site close to the coastguard station on the west side of the Harbour.  New lifeboat house of timber constructed with a watch room at the side built by Mr Charles Curd at a cost of £372.


Lifeboat house removed back a safe distance from the sea at a cost of £150.  A chalk road was also constructed for a distance of 100ft seaward.


Lease of lifeboat house expired and station moved to old site at Kingston.


The station closed when the harbour’s entrance silted up.


The station re-opened when the sand bar disappeared. 

The station’s first motor lifeboat was placed on service.


The lifeboat rescued the Rt Hon J A Thomas MP, Secretary of State for the Dominions, who had been angling with three friends.

A new station building and slipway built on Kingstone Beach.


The Shoreham lifeboat Rosa Woodd and Phyllis Lunn took part in the evacuation of the BEF from Dunkirk in May.


Silver Medal awarded to Acting Coxswain J Upperton and Bronze Medal to Motor Mechanic Henry Philcox for the rescue of 22 people from the minesweeper President Briand which had engine problems in a strong southerly wind and heavy swell on 16 November 1941.  Ignoring the presence of land mines, the lifeboat went alongside six or seven times and removed all 22 men including her own coxswain.


Silver Second-Service Clasp awarded to Coxswain James Upperton for the rescue of the crew of six of the yacht Gull that was seen off Shoreham being driven along the coast out of control with her sails torn on 8 August 1948.  The seas were tremendous and just before the rescue was accomplished the lifeboat was smothered in sea and the coxswain thought he had lost half his crew.  The rescue was carried out in the nick of time on a dead lee shore and in shallow water.


Lifeboat recovered a body of a man lost overboard from the yacht Solveig and the Oxygen Breathing Apparatus was used on service for the first time.


Centenary Vellum presented on 1 June by Lady Egremont.


D class lifeboat sent to the station in July.


A Framed Letter of Thanks signed by the Chairman of the Institution was sent to the coxswain and crew for saving the yacht Jean Ann and her crew of two in a west-south-westerly gale and a rough sea on 22 September. 


Bronze Medal awarded to Coxswain John Fox and the Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum was accorded to Assistant Mechanic Ken L Everard for rescuing the crew of five of the drilling rig William Allpress on 19 October 1971 in a south westerly gale with frequent gusts approaching 60 knots,a very rough sea, and poor visibility.


The Bronze Second-Service clasp was awarded to Coxswain John Fox for saving the yacht Albin Ballad and rescuing her crew of three in a strong south westerly gale and a very rough sea on 5 August 1973.  The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum was accorded to Assistant Mechanic Ken Everard and crew member Geoff Tugwell who leapt aboard the yacht to secure a towline.

The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum was accorded to Coxswain John Fox, in recognition of his outstanding seamanship and judgement when the Dorothy and Philip Constant lifeboat rescued the crew of two of the yacht Lugger on 20 September.


The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum was accorded to Michael Fox, helmsman of the D class lifeboat, in recognition of the skill and determination displayed by him when three people were rescued from the sailing dinghy Serendippy which had capsized west of the harbour entrance in a west-south-westerly gale and a rough sea on 20 July.


Silver Medal awarded to Coxswain Kenneth Voice, and The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum were accorded to Second Coxswain  Kenneth Everard, Motor Mechanic Jack Silverson, Assistant Mechanic Michael Fox, Emergency Mechanics Geoff Tugwell, John Landale and crew member Peter Huxtable in recognition of their courage, determination and skill when the Dorothy and Philip Constant lifeboat rescued the crew of 26 of the vessel Athina B which went aground in heavy surf off Brighton in a south-westerly storm on 21 January1980.


A new class of lifeboat, Rother, ON1064 The Davys Family was placed on station on 21 August.  At a naming ceremony held on 16 October, Princess Alexandra named the new lifeboat.


Timber fendering on the knuckles at the toe of the slipway was replaced as well as the timber fendering on both sides of the slipway being heightened so as to be more effective at all states of the tide.


Boathouse adapted to accommodate the new Tyne class lifeboat.  This included the lifting of the boathouse bressummer, the lining of the keelway with a feroform liner, the installation of new doors and a 1,000 gallon fuel storage tank.

The new Tyne class lifeboat ON1158 Hermione Lady Colwyn was provided by the Shoreham Harbour Lifeboat Appeal together with other gifts and legacies


Modifications to the tipping cradle damper system were carried out and major concrete repairs were carried out on both the boathouse and slipway substructures.


Work carried out on the installation of a new fuel storage tank in the boathouse and also refurbishment works on the ILB slipway.


New D class lifeboat D501 was placed on service on 14 May.


The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum was accorded to Coxswain Peter Huxtable for his leadership, tenacity and seamanship when the lifeboat located and towed in the yacht Trimley Maid in very rough seas and gusting Force 9 winds on the evening of 2 June 1999.


A Framed Letter of Thanks signed by the Chairman of the Institution, Mr Peter Nicholson, awarded to Coxswain Peter Huxstable in recognition of the skill, fine seamanship and sound judgement exhibited by him when the lifeboat rescued two people and saved the fishing vessel Stephanie B.  The fishing vessel was aground in shallow waters near to the harbour entrance on 25 October 2000.  The south westerly winds were Force 9 and the seas were very rough.  The situation was exacerbated by the fact that the fishing vessel’s booms were extended, making any approach by the lifeboat much more dangerous.


Coxswain Peter Huxtable has been honoured by Her Majesty the Queen in the New Years Honours with a Member, Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services to The Institution. 

The new class of lifeboat IB1, D-647 Barry Lazell was placed on service on Monday 8 August. 



At a meeting held on 5 November the Trustees resolved that Shoreham Harbour would be allocated a Tamar class lifeboat in early 2010.


A new boathouse completed in November at a total cost of £4,200,000.

The new Tamar, class of lifeboat ON1295 Enid Collett was placed on service on 10 December 2010.  This lifeboat was funded by the generous bequests of Miss Enid Marjory Collett together with other gifts and legacies.


The new boathouse was officially opened by HRH The Duke of Kent KG on Thursday 16 June. 


Deputy Second Coxswain Steve Smith and Crew Member Simon Tugwell both received framed letters of thanks signed by the Chairman of the institution in recognition of their actions in getting aboard the disabled yacht Crazy H via the all weather lifeboat’s Y boat on 7th August 2011.  The service was conducted in WSW force 7 winds and rough seas.  Having got aboard with cutting gear, they succeeded in clearing the mast and rigging which was over the side and established a tow.  They also rendered first aid to an injured woman who was taken off the Newhaven lifeboat.