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Tenby's Station history


Launches 21
Lives Rescued 9


The crew of Tenby have been awarded 15 medals, 10 Silver and five Bronze, the last being voted in 1990.


The station was established in 1852 by the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society and two years later was handed over by the Society to the Institution.


Silver Medal awarded to John Ray for helping to rescue, with 11 other men in two boats, three men from the sloop Mary on 22 October 1934.


Grace Darling comes to station, costing £125 to build


Silver Medal voted to Lieut R Jesse, Chief Officer of Coastguard for his gallant conduct in putting off in the lifeboat and rescuing the crews of the schooner Agenoria of Bideford and the schooner Alexandre of Havre on 20 December 1855.

Silver Medal awarded to Chief Bowman Robert Parrott of Tenby Coastguard on 6 March 1856 in recognition of his repeated services in saving life from shipwreck during 21 years.



Silver Medals awarded to The Hon Lieut R F Boyle RN and Second-Service Clasp to Coxswain Robert Parrott for the service to the brig Policy of Sunderland, which was wrecked during a heavy gale on the Monkstone Rocks on 7 November 1859.  While in the act of saving the shipwrecked crew, the cable of the lifeboat parted which compelled her to return to the shore.  The crew were afterwards saved by the crew of the lifeboat by means of the rocket apparatus.


Lifeboat house built for £190 was built on the harbour beach.


Florence / Carolina Morris’s Divine Rescue comes into service, costing £260 to build


Six sets of chain trace harness sent after complaint of existing harness.


Silver Medal awarded to Coxswain Thomas Monger on 2 December 1875 in recognition of his long and intrepid services in the lifeboat.


Decided to allow Admiralty to used old lifeboat for Coastguard purposes.


Annie Collin (ON57), costing £367.13.6d to build comes to station.


Investigation into the high number of helpers at launches.  On two occasions as many as 97 and 106.


A head launcher appointed to serve out brass tallies to helpers.  Approved maximum number of helpers 50 for services and 40 for exercises.


William and Mary Devey (ON497) begins service, costing £984 to build


While new lifeboat house and slipway was being constructed, the time-keeper employed by the contractor fell through some cross timbers, striking several pieces of wood, and died of shock.  Local Committee recommended that the number of helpers be reduced to four.


Old lifeboat house handed over to Tenby Corporation.


Station adapted for its first motor lifeboat at a cost of £10,000.


The stations first motor lifeboat arrived, John R Webb (ON684)


John R Webb II (ON729) begins service, costing £8,318


Silver Medal awarded to acting Coxswain John Rees and Bronze Medal to Motor Mechanic Alfred Cottam for the rescue of eight men from the steamer Fermanagh of Belfast on 15 January 1938, in a whole gale with gusts to hurricane force and very rough sea.  The crew had been in continual danger of being washed overboard and two of them were nearly lost when the lifeboat dropped into a deep trough.


On 8 February the lifeboat was launched to the St Govan’s light vessel in south west gale with a rough sea.  A big sea broke over the lifeboat injuring several of her crew.  One man, Frank Hooper, had his ribs and pelvis fractured and was never able to work again.  The Institution granted him a pension of £2 10 0d a week for life.  Hooper joined the lifeboat about 1916 and served as assistant motor mechanic during the War from 1942-1945.  On this service Frank Hooper volunteered as assistant mechanic in the absence of the regular assistant mechanic.


Committee of Management voted £10 to local fund for member of crew, H King, who was drowned in a fishing boat accident while following his normal occupation.


Centenary Vellum awarded.


Silver Medal to Coxswain Thomas Richards and Bronze Medals to Bowman William Thomas and Motor Mechanic William Rogers when on 21/22 September 1953 the lifeboat launched in full west-south-west gale, extremely rough sea and heavy rain squalls to the St Govan’s light vessel, which was sinking, and rescued the crew of seven.


Henry Comber Brown (ON925) begins service.


RSPCA awarded Framed Certificate of Merit to coxswain and crew for their courage and humanity on the service on 3 April when the lifeboat rescued two cows which had fallen over a cliff at Manorbier.


A Letter of Thanks, signed by the Chairman of the Institution, was sent to the coxswain and crew who also received an additional monetary award when on 18 November the lifeboat launched into a Force 10 Storm with very rough seas to the assistance of the Dutch motor vessel Kilo reported on fire off Caldey Island.  Wave heights recorded of 20-25 feet.  At 0407 on being informed that The Mumbles lifeboat had come up with the Kilo, the Tenby coxswain decided to proceed to Swansea


Silver Medal awarded to crew member Michael Wilson and Bronze Medal to Bowman J Richards, when on 27 August 1966 the lifeboat launched with a punt in tow to six children cut off by the tide at the mouth of a cave near Waterwynch.  The lifeboat anchored near the position and Bowman J Richards and crewman M Wilson volunteered to man the punt.  While Richards kept the punt near the cliff, a feat which required much strength and skill, Wilson swam (with a line attached to him) from the punt to the cliff, rescuing a child on each occasion and bringing the survivor back to the punt.  Wilson also received the Maud Smith award for the bravest act of life-saving by a member of a lifeboat crew in 1966.


A Framed Letter of Thanks signed by the Chairman was awarded to Ivor Crockford and a Letter of Thanks signed by the Secretary was sent to Assistant Mechanic R Thomas in recognition of the service on 14/15 November when the lifeboat stood by and escorted motor vessel Manta.  Mr Crockford was convalescing after illness and took command of the lifeboat as the coxswain had resigned due to ill health.  The mechanic had retired and Assistant Mechanic R Thomas handled the engines


On 21/22 May the lifeboat launched to the assistance of a boy who had fallen over the cliff at Manorbier.  A punt was taken in tow by the lifeboat.  The boy’s body was under water trapped in a basin shaped gully between rocks at the base of the cliff.  The second coxswain and two crew members manned the punt and attempted to reach the body without success.  A further attempt was made in the early house of 22 May and the body was recovered using the punt for the second time manned by the same crew.  A Framed Letter of Thanks signed by the Chairman of the Institution was sent to the coxswain and crew which made special reference to the part played by the crew of the punt, Second Coxswain Joshua Richards and crew members John John and Michael Crockford.


Inshore Lifeboat (ILB) station was established and a D Class lifeboat sent to station on 19 July.


Boathouse constructed for D class lifeboat on the north side of the harbour.


Bronze Second-Service Clasp awarded to Coxswain Joshua Richards in recognition of his courage and seamanship when the lifeboat Henry Comber Brown under his command, rescued the sole occupant of the catamaran Helen-M which was anchored in a dangerous position off Pendine on 7 October 1981.  Crew members John John and Michael Wilson who boarded the catamaran at great personal risk to recover the anchor and secure a towline were each accorded the Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum.


The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum was accorded to Coxswain William Alan Thomas and crew member Charles Hugh Crockford in recognition of their skill and judgement when two boys who were cut off by the tide were rescued by the D class inflatable lifeboat on relief duty at the station on 15 May 1983.  The boys were sheltering in a gully at the foot of the cliffs.  The lifeboat had to be taken into what was little more than a cleft in the cliffs and held against rocks in a moderate swell producing a 5/6 foot surge at the foot of the cliffs and into the gully.  Crew member Charles Crockford scrambled over the rocks to help the boys into the lifeboat.


The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum accorded to crew member Nicholas Tebbutt, and crew member Nicholas Crockford, in recognition of the determination and perseverance displayed by them when they put out from the lifeboat in an inflatable dinghy and assisted in the rescue of five occupants of the yacht Sailing Bye which was aground and dragging her anchor in rough seas in the darkness of the early hours of 25 September 1983.


Station adapted in order to accommodate the Tyne class lifeboat, RFA Sir Galahad (ON1112)  This included a new boarding platform, exhaust extractor system and a new larger capacity fuel storage tank.  Major repairs to the slipway were also carried out.


The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum accorded to Helmsman Dennis Young and crew members John John, William James and Roy Young in recognition of the determination and seamanship displayed by them when the D class inflatable lifeboat rescued an injured swimmer from rocks of Monkstone Point in a south westerly gale and rough seas on 2 August 1986.


Second Coxswain John John collapsed during a launch on service on 17 July.  He sadly died the next day.


Side extension to the main boathouse constructed.  This provides a mechanic’s workshop and a souvenir sales outlet.


Silver Medal awarded to Coxswain William Alan Thomas in recognition of the outstanding courage, determination and fine seamanship displayed by him when the lifeboat went to the assistance of two fishing vessels in a Force 8/9 Gale, poor visibility and rough sea on 22 September 1989.  The skipper of the fishing vessel Silver Stream was rescued after he became trapped in the wheelhouse when a very large sea caught the vessel and rolled her over revealing the keel.  The coxswain saw the man was in grave danger so with great care and courage, manoeuvred the lifeboat into exactly the right position for the skipper to be pulled through the wheelhouse window by lifeboatmen on deck.  The two exhausted crew of the fishing vessel New Venture were also rescued and the vessel saved.  The Maud Smith Award for the bravest act of lifesaving in 1989 was made to Coxswain William Alan Thomas for this service.


On 28 November 2001 the Committee of Management voted the award of a Vellum to Tenby to commemorate the completion of 150 years as a lifeboat station in 2002.


Former Mechanic Charles Crockford was awarded the MBE in the New Years Honours List.  It was formally presented at Buckingham Palace.

Following the visit on 5 September 2001 by the Coast Review delegation, led by Commodore R C Hastie, it was agreed by the Search and Rescue Committee on 6 February 2002 and resolved by the Executive Committee at their meeting on 10 April 2002 that the station be earmarked for the allocation of an FSB2 in due course.  It was also resolved that there be no change to the ILB coverage at this station.

The station was awarded 150th anniversary vellum.


Coxswain Alan Thomas has been awarded the MBE by Her Majesty The Queen in this years New Years Honours.

The Trustees Committee decided that ON1281 (16-02) Haydn Miller will be allocated to Tenby when she is completed in early 2005.



New boathouse completed in January at a cost of £6,500,00

A special slipway launch of the new Tamar class lifeboat took place on Friday 11 March.  The newly built Tenby lifeboat house played host to the pre-production Tamar class lifeboat that underwent various trials.


The new station Tamar class lifeboat ON1281 Haydn Miller was placed on service on 28 April.  This marks the start of a new era in the RNLI and follows many years of development of the Tamar class lifeboat.  Tamar class also placed on service at Peterhead on this date at a cost of £2m.


The new station D Class D-727 Georgina Taylor was placed on service December 2009. This lifeboat was funded by Mrs G S Taylor. Lifeboat D-562 Georgina Stanley Taylor has been withdrawn to the relief fleet.