Station history

A lifeboat station was established at Montrose in 1800. It is one of the oldest stations in the British Isles. The first Montrose lifeboat was one of thirty-one boats built by Henry Greathead between 1800 and 1803. Five of these boats were placed on the coast of Scotland.  Henry Greathead of South Shields was the builder of the Original in 1789, the first boat to be built expressly for the purpose of saving life from shipwreck.

A second lifeboat station was established in Montrose in 1869 and was closed in 1950 and a third was established in 1885 but there was only one service launch and it was closed in 1892.

1807

A ‘Life-boat’ was first stationed at Montrose in 1807, built by Henry Greathead. This lifeboat was managed first by a private committee, and in 1818 was handed over to the Town Council which administered the affairs of Montrose Harbour.

1832

Silver Medals awarded to John Nichol, David Edwards, Robert Mearns (Jnr), Alexander Coul, Robert Japp, Charles Coul, William Finlay, John Peart and Alexander Watt for the rescue of the crews, totalling 30 lives, of the vessels Annie, Sophia and Ann on 25 March. Three of the rescuers were master mariners who manned the lifeboat, and six were the crew of a salmon coble.

1869

Station taken over by the Institution from the Collector of Customs and Chairman of the Harbour.

Lifeboat house erected on the north side of the River South Esk close to the old house.

Slipway constructed at a cost of £100.

1873

Silver Medals awarded to Coxswain W Mearns (number one lifeboat) and Coxswain W Mearns Jnr (number two lifeboat) for the rescue of the nine crew and one small boy from the Brig Henriette of Memel that ran aground in a south-easterly wind three quarters of a mile north of Montrose on 21 December 1872. The number one lifeboat launched; going through the harbour mouth and across the dangerous Annat Bank the coxswain and three crew were washed out by a tremendous sea. Another large sea took her close to the wreck from which six men threw themselves into the lifeboat. She then went on to pick up the members of her own crew. The number two lifeboat launched from the shore and took off from the wreck the three remaining survivors including a small boy. Unfortunately one of the lifeboat men, Alexander Paton, died a few days after from the effects of exposure. Committee of Management voted £50 to the local fund.

1878

Presented five life-belts to the crew of the Steam Tug that tows the lifeboat to the bar on the occasions of service free of charge.

1885

Silver Medal to Coxswain David Duncan on retirement.

Number two lifeboat house constructed at a cost of £320 a few miles north by the side of the old mouth of the North Esk River.

1892

Number two station closed and lifeboat house handed over to owners of site.

1897

Water laid on to number one lifeboat house.

1899

Silver Medal to Coxswain James Watt on retirement.

1900

Number one lifeboat, whilst on exercise, was struck by a heavy sea and driven on to the rocks without loss of life. The lifeboat was damaged beyond repair.

New lifeboat house constructed.

1901

The sum of £100 received from Montrose Harbour Board for the old lifeboat house.

1913

Silver Medal awarded to David Mearns Master of the trawler Southesk for saving the drifter Yarmouth and her crew of nine drifting through high seas in a strong south-easterly gale on 9 May.  Great risk was incurred as the vessel was drifting ashore in a strong gale.  After towing for 26 hours the Yarmouth was brought into safety.

1916

Medals and Diplomas awarded to the crew of the number two lifeboat station by The Norwegian Government for saving the seven crew of the schooner Heidstad that was wrecked in a south-easterly very strong gale with very heavy seas, two miles north of Montrose harbour entrance on 19 November 1916.

1928

A Centenary Vellum awarded.

1941

Three members of the crew washed out of the lifeboat whilst on service but were recovered.

1951

A Commemorative Vellum awarded for 150 years.

1970

Framed Letters of Thanks signed by the Chairman of the Institution awarded to Coxswain Paton and six members of the crew in recognition of the service carried out on 4 May when the dredger Coquet Mouth was saved and her crew of four were rescued when the vessel grounded on the Annat Bank at the entrance to Montrose.

1972

British Empire Medal presented to Coxswain James Robert Paton by the Minister of Aerospace, Mr R D Heseltine MP, on 15 November.

1973

HRH Princess Alexandra, the Hon Mrs Angus Ogilvy, named the new Montrose lifeboat Lady MacRobert on 27 August.

1989

New assembly building constructed.  It provides a souvenir sales facility and improved crew facilities.

The station’s new Tyne class lifeboat ON1152 Moonbeam was placed on service April 1989 with the official naming ceremony held on 1st July 1989. The lifeboat was provided by the gift of Mr & Mrs Roland Sutton.

1994

A D class lifeboat sent to station on 2 February for operational evaluation for one season. Arrangements subsequently made for the provision of a temporary hut adjacent to the shore facility and also for the installation of a new Schat davit for launching and recovering the D class. Approval from the Montrose Port Authority was received for the sitting of the temporary hut and launching davit.

1995

Inshore lifeboat station established. New D class lifeboat D-481 placed on service on 18 July.

1997

Following successful completion of the one year evaluation period, proposals were drawn-up for the construction of a permanent building to house the D class lifeboat. These proposals were subsequently approved and work commenced in October 1996 and was successfully completed in January 1997.

2000

Bi-centenary Vellum presented to station.

2004

The new class of lifeboat IB1, D-626 David Leslie Wilson was placed on service on Thursday 12 August. D-481 has been withdrawn.

MEDAL RECORD

Fourteen Silver medals have been awarded to men of Montrose, the last being voted in 1913.

FOREIGN AWARDS

The Norwegian Government awarded medals and diplomas to the crew of number two lifeboat for the rescue of the crew, seven in number, of the schooner Heidstad on 19 November 1916.