The station was first established in 1849 provided by local subscription and managed locally.
In 1876 a new lifeboat house was constructed at a cost of £450.
RNLI took over the lifeboat station including its 24ft lifeboat. This was subsequently replaced with a 27ft boat costing £116, the 24ft boat was considered too small.
A new SR lifeboat John Stuart, built at a cost of £198, was placed on service and the previous boat withdrawn
The RNLI paid a £10 gratuity to the widow of crew member D Richards who caught a cold as a result of going on service on 6 January 1867.
Silver Medal awarded to Richard Jinks, Chief Officer of HM Coastguards, for saving the crew of two of the smack Ocean of Milford, which had been driven onto Cardigan Bar during a south-easterly wind and in heavy sea, on 13 September.
Breakwater constructed to protect the lifeboat house at a cost of £350.
A new SR lifeboat Lizzie & Charles Leigh Clare (ON177), built at a cost of £363, was placed on service and the John Stuart withdrawn.
Silver Medal awarded to Coxswain William Niles, for long service.
Silver Medal awarded to Coxswain David Rees, on his retirement.
Bronze Medal awarded to Coxswain Thomas Bowen, for a service to the ss Conservator which got into difficulties in Cardigan Bay in a north-westerly full gale, snow, and very heavy seas on 27 March. Despite seas washing over both vessels her 10 man crew was taken off and as the lifeboat was unable to return to station because of the weather conditions, she crossed the bar, ran up the river to Cardigan and landed the survivors there.
Station re-opened at Poppit Sands as an ILB station with the placing on service of a D class lifeboat.
Framed Letters of Thanks signed by the Chairman of the Institution sent to crew members V Evans, R Evans and the Deputy Launching Authority, Mr J W Marr in recognition of the part they played in the rescue of four people after their boat capsized on the bar on 13 August. Mr Brian Francis, a fisherman, was accorded the Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum for his part in the rescue. He was also awarded the Royal Humane Society’s Bronze Medal.
The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum accorded to Helmsman Vernon Evans, in recognition of his skill and determination when the yacht Snow Rych was saved and her crew of four rescued after the yacht had broached on Cardigan Bay on 17 April.
Bronze Medal awarded to Helmsman Robert Reynolds, in recognition of the courage and seamanship displayed by him and The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum awarded to crew members Vernon Evans and Charles Sharp when on 15 August in seas estimated to be 16 feet or more, they went to the assistance of an 18 foot motor cruiser with four people and a dog on board. Reaching the casualty Helmsman Reynolds drove the lifeboat onto the vessel amidships enabling the two lifeboat crewmembers to grab a boy who was firmly grasping a dog and haul him aboard. An attempt to rescue a woman was frustrated as she was holding firmly onto her husband. Another approach was made and the owner of the cruiser was grabbed. At this point the coxswain decided to land these survivors on the beach after which he returned to the casualty, drove the bow of the lifeboat onto the cruiser and the remaining couple were pulled aboard.
A D class lifeboat withdrawn and a C class lifeboat placed on service on 29 March.
On 20 June the new lifeboat house, built to accommodate the new C class lifeboat was officially opened, the new lifeboat was dedicated and a Centenary Vellum was awarded to the station.
Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum accorded to crew members Jeremy Thomas and Leonard Walters when three people were rescued near Penbryn Beach after being cut off by the tide. The C class lifeboat was operating in conditions at the limits of this class of lifeboat. Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum also accorded to a young Aberporth Lifeguard, Simon Jury, who assisted the lifeboat in this service, using his surfboard on 28 August 1996.
A New double boathouse for Atlantic 75 class lifeboat and D class lifeboat completed in March.
A D class lifeboat and B class Atlantic 21 lifeboat were placed on service and the C class was withdrawn.
The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum accorded to Helmsman Dyfrig Brown in recognition of his skill and seamanship when the B class inshore lifeboat saved the lives of three men cut off by the rising tide at Fathganeg Rock on 30 August 2004. The service was carried out in large turbulent seas close to a dangerous rock pinnacle. A fourth man was saved by a helicopter.
The new station D class lifeboat D-709 Elsie Ida Meade was placed on service on 28 January. Lifeboat D-547 Society of Societies has been withdrawn to the relief fleet.
Framed letter of thanks signed by the Chairman of the RNLI, Admiral the Lord Boyce awarded to Helmsman Len Walters for the rescue of a couple from a capsized catamaran from rocks at Tresaith in adverse conditions on the afternoon of 30 April 2011.
Five medals have been awarded to the men of Cardigan, three silver and two bronze, the last being awarded in 1980.