When saving lives in the treacherous waters of the Bristol Channel, seconds can mean the difference between life and death. But lack of space at Minehead Lifeboat Station means the crew are unable to launch as quickly as they could.
It also means there are no proper changing facilities for the crew; no hot showers to warm up after cold, wet shouts; and no room for crucial crew training.
Through your kindness today, you can help to increase response times, give the crew the facilities they need and deserve, and save lives in Minehead and beyond for generations to come.
Why we need you onboard
Volunteers in Minehead have been saving lives at sea for more than 120 years from the same lifeboat station that was built in 1901.
Today, the lifeboat crew respond to between 30 and 40 emergency calls a year, along more than 30 miles of coastline - from Hinkley Point in the east to Lynmouth in the west.
Although the inshore lifeboats - a 25-knot D class and 35-knot B class - are both state-of-the art, the station facilities are no longer fit for purpose and there’s an urgent need for more space.
The current layout means the launching tractor for the D class inshore lifeboat has to be housed in a separate building rather than hitched to the lifeboat, ready for launch. And every time the faster B class lifeboat needs to be launched, crew must first move the D class out of the way. The station was built to house a single lifeboat and so there is not enough room for the lifeboats to be stored side by side. The station’s impractical layout and lack of space slows down critical response times considerably.
When the crew respond to their pagers, male crew members currently have to get changed on an open balcony, while female crew members change in the cramped eaves of the building, with scant privacy for either. And there are no shower facilities for when they return from a gruelling shout. This is far from ideal. Our crew risk their lives to save others and they deserve space, dignity and comfort.
At the moment, the crew room doubles as a training space - and our volunteers have to sit on the floor so they can all fit in. Continuous training is vital, both on and off the water, and it’s essential that all crew have access to an appropriate environment to undertake their classroom training.
By helping to fund this station upgrade, you’ll be standing with the crew and making a lifesaving difference.
Just as the RNLI has over the years adapted its fleet to adjust to the changing patterns of sea rescues, so stations need to be modified too
The difference your kindness will make
Your donation will enhance search and rescue efforts out of Minehead. You’ll help increase response times to people experiencing the worst moment of their lives, and you’ll improve crew safety, training and comfort.
You’ll be helping to modify and extend the existing station to provide the volunteer crew with modern, fit-for-purpose training and welfare facilities, and a more efficient layout to store the lifeboats and their launching equipment.
- full-length garage to accommodate the D class lifeboat with its tractor hitched, ready to launch
- main boathouse freed up solely for the B class and its tractor unit
- dedicated mechanic’s workshop for maintenance and repair work
- dedicated crew room to rest and warm up in after a shout
- separate office and training room - with the training room available for use by groups in the local community
- crew changing room with showers and a separate female crew changing space
- inclusive and enhanced visitor access
- souvenir shop
How you can help today
RNLI volunteers in Minehead give their time and energy to provide a 24-hour search and rescue service. And it’s your kind donations that ensure they have what they need to save lives and come home safely.
Your gift today - no matter how big or small - will make a huge difference to the Minehead volunteers. Not only to the crew and those in trouble around the north coast of Somerset and Devon, but also to the wider community and those volunteering behind the scenes at the station.
From the volunteer shore crew like Joe and Phil, and tractor drivers like Ian and Dave helping to launch the lifeboat, to deputy launching authorities including Paul and Philippa who oversee each launch. And from Lifeboat Operations Manager John who keeps things running to Lifeboat Press Officer Chris who helps bring rescue stories to life. Each life saved is thanks to an extended family of lifesavers from all walks of life.
By giving today, you become a part of this family. Thank you from everyone at Minehead RNLI.
If you've got any questions about our appeal, or would like to donate by phone, please call our Supporter Experience Team on 0300 300 9907 (from the UK) or 01 511 9833 (from Ireland) on weekdays, 8am–6pm.
Your gift today will go towards funding the improvements to Minehead Lifeboat Station. Any funds raised above the £250,000 target will be used across all RNLI services, wherever they’re needed most. They will make a huge difference to all our lifesavers - and the people they rescue. Thank you!