Station history

The station was established by the Institution in 1863 after a public meeting held in Liverpool in 1862, at which it was stated that a lifeboat at New Brighton could frequently reach wrecks sooner than the Liverpool lifeboats (under the control of the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board) which were about three times further up the river.  The first Institution's lifeboat, a tubular one, built by Mr J Hamilton Jnr, of Liverpool, took part in a grand demonstration at Liverpool before being taken to her station on 24 January 1863.

In the following year, a second lifeboat, in addition to the previous one, was placed on the station, and there have been at various times, three stations at the same time.

1851

Silver Medals were awarded to the coxswains of the Liverpool Docks Trustees lifeboats for their gallant services: Peter Cropper, Liverpool; Thomas Evans, Magazine; who had been out on service 106 times, Joseph Formby, Formby.

1863

Silver Second-Service clasp awarded to Coxswain Thomas Evans and Silver Medals to Thomas Evans Jnr and William Evans for their gallant and persevering services when assisting to rescue 55 crew and passengers of the American ship John H Elliot which was stranded in Liverpool Bay during a heavy gale on 20 January.

1870

Silver Medal to Coxswain Richard Thomas for a service on 19 October 1869 when the schooner Elephant ran aground.  Coxswain Thomas went alongside and rescued a man and although the wreck was breaking up rapidly the coxswain jumped aboard and at great personal risk started to climb the rigging to rescue another man who was lashed there when the foremast gave way and crashed over the side.

Boat capsized on exercise without loss of life.

1877

Silver Medal awarded to Hiram Linaker in acknowledgement of his long and intrepid services as one of the original crew of the New Brighton lifeboat.

1883

On 26 January the lifeboat was launched on service to reported flares, but could find nothing. Several heavy seas were shipped and two men were washed out of her, one was rescued, but the other, Charles Finlay, was drowned. Committee voted £200 to local fund for relief of widow and children.

1893

Committee of Management decided to send steam lifeboat Duke of Northumberland for temporary duty.

1894

Mortar supplied for assembling crew instead of employing messenger.

Silver Medal awarded to Coxswain William Martin in recognition of his gallant services in saving life from shipwrecks.

1895

It was reported that an expense of £74 had been incurred in keeping the New Brighton lifeboats clear during the recent ice floes.

1896

Arrangements made for a tug to tow the lifeboat out when steam was being raised in lifeboat or when the flood tide was strongly against the lifeboat.

1897

Sound signals supplied to station in lieu of the mortar which the residents objected to.

1905

Two men of the lifeboat crew, Allan Dodd and John Jones, were acting as night watchmen on board the steam lifeboat which was being repaired. On the morning of 29 November, they were found dead in the stoke hold where they had apparently shut themselves in after having lit a fire and were asphyxiated. Institution contributed £250 to the relief of the widow and children of Allan Dodd.

1914

Steam lifeboat, one man washed out of lifeboat on service on 5 December, but was rescued.

1921

B.S.A. Line Throwing Gun first provided.

1922

Second Coxswain George Gregg died of kidney trouble caused by an accident when on service in 1919.

1923

Committee of Management made a grant of £230 to a fund for Mr W J Liversage.  He was assistant secretary and his death was accelerated by exposure when on duty when the lifeboat was on service on 16 November.

1925

Whilst using boarding boat on 9 March during daily work two men, Motor Mechanic Ralph Scott, and Assistant Mechanic Herbert Harrison were thrown out; the assistant mechanic was drowned.  His widow received a pension from the Institution.

1928

Silver Medal awarded to Coxswain George Robinson and the Bronze Medal to the crew John Nicholson, George Carmody, Ralph Scott, Wilfred Garbutt, Samuel Jones, William Liversage, and John Moore for rescuing 23 men and the captain of the French Steamer Emile Delmas in a heavy west-north-westerly gale with very heavy seas and blinding rain squalls on 24 November 1928. On her way home she was struck by a huge sea. It flooded one of the engine rooms and swept overboard the chief engineer of the steamer and two of the crew of the lifeboat. After much difficulty the two members of the lifeboat were picked up but the engineer was swept away and drowned. The lifeboat was badly damaged but managed to get back to station after six hours at sea.

1938

Mr J Stonall, a member of the crew died suddenly in his brother's fishing boat four days after a service on 23 November.  Although his death was not attributed to his lifeboat service, the Institution granted the dependants allowances.

Silver Medal awarded to Coxswain W Jones and Bronze Medals to Second Coxswain J Nicholson, Mechanic W Garbutt and Second Mechanic J Mason for launching into a westerly gale gusting up to 108 miles per hour with rain and hail squalls to rescue three men from the fishing boat Progress that was in difficulty and four men from the Schooner Loch Ranza Castle that was drifting towards shore on 23 November 1938.  The coxswain decided to help the fishing boat first and after several attempts managed to get close enough for three men to be saved shortly before the boat sank.  Then he went to the schooners assistance and caught her as she entered the surf.  Dropping the anchor the lifeboat veered down but she had already sunk.  In three trips, during which the lifeboat was damaged going over the wreck, four men were rescued from the rigging, one semi conscious; they were all landed just before 1pm.

1946

On 11 June a davit chain of the boarding boat broke.  Three men, the district engineer, district surveyor and motor mechanic were thrown into the water.  Mechanic J W Bray, at great risk to himself, rescued the other two men for which he was awarded the Liverpool Shipwreck and Humane Society Silver Medal.

1947

Bronze Medal awarded to Second Coxswain W S Jones for his skill and seamanship when evacuating the crew of six of a fort in the River Mersey on 22 September 1947. The fort consists of a group of towers each on four tubular piles leaning inwards. The towers themselves project beyond the piles.

1948

One man washed out of the boarding boat, but was rescued.

1950

Bronze Medal Second Service Clasp awarded to Acting Coxswain William S Jones for the rescue of four people from the Schooner Happy Harry of Arklow that was dragging her anchor in a full southerly gale with rain squalls on 16 September 1950. An anonymous lady sent £50 to the coxswain and £50 to be divided among the crew.

1954

Proceeds of Panto Day £4,000, an annual event organised by the students of Liverpool University, were in 1954 donated to the Institution.  In accordance with the wishes of the students a motor boarding boat was provided for the station and was named Panto.

1956

The figure of 80,000 people rescued by the Institution was reached when the New Brighton lifeboat rescued five people from a sand hopper on 16 February.

1957

Bronze Medal awarded to Coxswain George Stonall for the rescue of the crew of the coaster J B Kee of Castletown that was listing 45 degrees to port, beam onto the wind and sea at the mouth of the River Mersey on 5 November 1957 in a strong south-south-westerly gale with very rough seas and intermittent rain squalls. Coxswain Stonall took a direct route over the sands reaching the coaster he made the only approach to the starboard bow; the lifeboat crew lined the deck and seized the six crewmen as they slid down into the boat. The lifeboat reversed clear and the survivors were landed at 1145.

1962

Full-time Second Mechanic F K Neilson lost his life on 6 March when he fell overboard from the boarding boat while approaching the lifeboat which was at her moorings. His widow received a pension from the Institution.

1963

A Centenary Vellum awarded to station.

1973

Conventional lifeboat withdrawn 16 April.  Atlantic 21 class lifeboat operational 19 May.

1974

Silver Medals awarded to Coxswain Edward Brown and crew member Robin Middleton and The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum were accorded to crew members Clifford Downing, Alan Boult and Ian Campbell for the rescue by the inshore lifeboat of three men from the fishing vessel E B H, which was aground near the Rock Light, in a strong westerly wind and rough sea on 9 June. As the lifeboat attempted to veer down to the casualty the fishing vessel’s cable parted and she drifted towards a submerged groyne. Helmsman Brown drove over the groyne onto the deck of the listing vessel and rescued two of her crew. Robin Middleton jumped on board and rescued a third man, with an injured leg, from the rigging.

1975

The figure of 100,000 people rescued by the Institution was reached when the New Brighton inshore lifeboat rescued a 13 year old boy who was drifting out to sea in a rubber dinghy. Framed certificates from the Institution to mark the occasion was presented by the boy, Stuart Nixon to the station.

1976

The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum accorded to Helmsman Edward B Brown for the courage, skill and determination he displayed when the inshore lifeboat carried out a search for the yacht Annalivia on 23 October.

1982

Bronze Medal awarded to Helmsman Edward B Brown in recognition of the courage and seamanship he displayed when the lifeboat rescued the crew of two and saved the yacht Ocea which was in difficulties 12 miles west of Formby Point in a south-south-westerly gale and a rough sea on 29 August. The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum was accorded to crew member Michael Jones.

1988

The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum accorded to Helmsman Anthony Clare in recognition of the seamanship and determination displayed by him when the lifeboat rescued the crew of three and saved the yacht Samsal which was in difficulties on the Great Burbo Bank in a westerly near gale and very rough seas on 6 October 1987. Framed Letters of Thanks signed by the Chairman were awarded to crew members Geoffrey Prince and Anthony Jones for their part in this service. The Ralph Glister Award for the most meritorious service carried out in a lifeboat under 10 metres in 1987 was awarded by the Committee of Management to Helmsman Anthony Clare and crew members Geoffrey Prince and Anthony Jones for this service.

1990

New boathouse constructed to house the Atlantic 21 class lifeboat and launching tractor. It also provides a souvenir sales outlet and improved crew facilities.

1994

The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum were accorded to crew members Michael Jones and Tony Clare in recognition of their courage and determination when on the evening of the 7/8 June they dived repeatedly in freezing waters of the River Mersey to assist in the rescue of the sole occupant of a car which had ploughed through the railings at Egremont. A Framed Letter of Thanks signed by the Chairman of the Institution Mr Michael Vernon were awarded to crew members Neil Jones and Barry Shillinglaw and shore helper Tony Jones for their valuable support, especially their continuous and determined efforts to resuscitate the man.

1995

The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum was accorded to Helmsman Michael Jones in recognition of his boat handling skills and command decisions which were instrumental in landing an unconscious man in rough seas whilst the other crew members carried out resuscitation in uncomfortable conditions on 5 March. Framed Letters of Thanks signed by the Chairman of the Institution, Sir Michael Vernon, were awarded to crew members Howard Jones, Neil Jones and Michael Haxby in recognition of a fine display of teamwork when resuscitating the unconscious man during this traumatic service. Framed Letters of Thanks signed by the Chairman of the Institution, Sir Michael Vernon were also awarded to Richard Finlay and John Goodwin, the crew of the private rescue service boat County Rescue for a fine display of teamwork and co-operation with the New Brighton lifeboat when, first on the scene, had nearly capsized twice in confused seas whilst attempting to recover the man.

1996

Atlantic 21 class lifeboat withdrawn and replaced by an Atlantic 75 class lifeboat B721 Rock Light which was placed on service on 9 January.

2000

The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum was accorded to Helmsman Michael Jones in recognition of his seamanship and leadership in conditions at the very limit of the operational capabilities of a B class lifeboat, when an unconscious man was recovered from the sea early on Christmas morning 1999. A collective Framed Letter of Thanks signed by the Chairman of the Institution, Mr David Acland, was awarded to crew members Barry Shillinglaw, Paul Wright and Howard Jones for their courage and determination displayed during this service. Eight shore helpers from the station received a collective Letter of Appreciation signed by the Director, and the Station Honorary Secretary received a Letter of Appreciation signed by the Chief of Operations.

2004

At a meeting held on 23 November the Trustee Committee resolved that Inshore Rescue Hovercraft H-005 be allocated to New Brighton and that New Brighton is regarded to a co-located B class and hovercraft station.

2005

Framed letters of thanks signed by the Chairman of the Institution, Admiral Sir Jock Slater, were awarded to Helmsman Mark Bland and crew members Mark Harding and Greg Morgan in recognition of their teamwork and determination when the B class inshore lifeboat landed four men and brought in the power boat Melody in force 8 winds and rough seas during the early afternoon of 18 April 2005.

Temp facilities for hovercraft completed in June at a cost of 64,922.  The new hovercraft H-005 Hurley Spirit was placed on service on Thursday 23 June.

2007

For services to the Institution, Lifeboat Press Officer Philip Hockey has been honoured by Her Majesty the Queen in the recent Birthday Honours: Member, Order of the British Empire (MBE).

2009

The new Atlantic 85 class lifeboat B837 Charles Dibdin (Civil Service No 51) was placed on service on 13 November. This lifeboat was generously funded by The Lifeboat Fund.

MEDAL RECORD

Twenty seven medals have been awarded - 13 Silver and 14 Bronze, the last being voted in 1982

FOREIGN AWARD

Gold medal to each of lifeboat's crew from the American Government for services to American ship Ellen Southard on 27 September 1875.  They also presented Gold medals to the survivors of the crew of the Liverpool lifeboat belonging to the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board which capsized on that occasion with the loss of three of her crew.  Committee of Management voted £100 to dependants.

The French Government awarded Gold medals to the coxswain and two members of the crew for service on 24 November 1928, when 23 of the crew of the French steamer Emile Delmas were rescued in a whole gale.  The two men who received medals had been washed overboard but were recovered.