Fleetwood RNLI celebrate 160 years of lifesaving

Lifeboats News Release

In February 1859, the first lifeboat arrived in Fleetwood at its new boathouse, built on the beach opposite the North Euston Hotel


The crew with ‘Child Of Hale’, which served from 1887 -1892

160 years later, the volunteers are looking to celebrate the occasion, with their annual Lifeboat Day on 28th July, 2019 as the focus.

When Captain Edward Wasey first appealed to the RNLI for a lifeboat in Fleetwood, he could have had no idea how successful the decision would be. Over the last 160 years, the RNLI volunteers in the town, have saved nearly 700 lives.

The first lifeboat, a 30 foot, six oared ‘Peake’ class, which was unnamed, was kept on a special launching carriage. It was built at a cost of £140. John Cox, Chief Boatman to the local Coastguard, was appointed Coxswain.

Fleetwood RNLI’s latest Shannon class lifeboat, Kenneth James Pierpoint, in contrast, cost £2.2 million and is the 12th all-weather lifeboat to serve at Fleetwood. She rests in the seventh lifeboat station to be built near the Euston Gardens. Alongside the all-weather lifeboats, Fleetwood RNLI has also had ‘D’ class lifeboats serving at the lifeboat station, since 1966.

Current Coxswain, Tony Cowell said:

‘It’s a tremendous feeling to be part of this town’s history. The lifeboat has been part of the community for 160 years and saved many lives. But it has also been an important service to Fleetwood, operating alongside its historical fishing industry. However, without the local support we’ve received over the years, it would have been impossible to continue. On our Lifeboat Day, we would like to say a massive thank you to them, not only for the past 160 years, but for the next’.

Notes to editors

Further historical details are available on Fleetwood RNLI’s lifeboats and lifeboat stations. Contact the Fleetwood RNLI Press Officer.

RNLI media contacts

  • For more information please contact Ken Harcombe, Fleetwood RNLI Volunteer Press Officer, on 07970 197195 / ken_harcombe@rnli.org.uk Danielle Rush, RNLI Regional Media Manager, West, on 07786 668829/ danielle_rush@rnli.org.uk. Or, Eleri Roberts, RNLI Regional Media Officer West, on 07771 941390/Eleri_Roberts@rnli.org.uk

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a normal year, more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.