Station history

The first lifeboat station on the Island was established at St Sampson’s in 1803 and taken over by the Institution in 1861.  In 1881 the St Sampson’s station was closed and the present station at St Peter Port established.  The St Sampson’s station was one of the first to be established anywhere in the British Isles and its boat was built by Henry Greathead of South Shields, the builder of The Original, the first purpose-built lifeboat.

1851

Silver Medal awarded to John Mitchell, pilot, for the rescue of three of the crew of the ship Adele, which was wrecked on the Soubreaux Rocks on 16 January 1851.

1857

Silver Medals and £2 each awarded to pilots Henry Bougourd, Peter Corbet, George Hughes, gunner; William Pillar of Her Majesty’s Revenue Cruiser Eagle, and William Cockrom, a steward aboard the Eagle, in acknowledgement of their valuable services in rescuing six of the crew of the barque Boadicea of Shields, which was wrecked off Guernsey in a heavy gale on 5 January 1857.

1861

Lifeboat house constructed at a cost of £134 on north side of St Sampson Harbour.

1875

Lifeboat capsized whilst under sail on exercise, fortunately without loss of life.

1877

New lifeboat house constructed at La Lande at a cost of £334.

1878

Old lifeboat house sold to the States for £143 10 0d.

1879

Local committee recommended the removal of the new lifeboat house from La Lande to the Harbour at St Peter Port in the meantime the lifeboat to be kept in her old house at St Sampson’s.

1881

Cost of new lifeboat house on south side of St Peter Port using the materials of the old lifeboat house £155.

1902

The sum of 10/- per hour paid to Guernsey Tug Co for the use of tug when required by lifeboat, day or night.

1931

Centenary Vellum awarded.

1940

At the time of the occupation of the Island (June 1940) the station lifeboat Queen Victoria was refitting at Cowes and reserve lifeboat Alfred and Clara Heath was on station duty.  The St Peter Port lifeboat went to Jersey to fetch the St Helier lifeboat as both were to be evacuated to England.  On the way she was machine-gunned by three German aircraft and a member of the crew, H F Hobbs, the coxswain’s son, was killed (his widow was granted a pension by the Institution).  She returned to her station alone as the Governor of Jersey wished to keep the St Helier lifeboat for the use of the Islanders and both boats fell into German hands.

1953

Commemorative Vellum to mark 150th anniversary awarded.

1963

Gold Medal awarded to Coxswain Hubert Petit, Bronze Medals to Motor Mechanic Eric Pattimore and John Petit (coxswain’s son) for the rescue of the crew of nine of the Norwegian motor vessel John Collett, which was in difficulties due to her cargo shifting, on 5/6 February 1963.  Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum accorded to the remaining members of the crew.

1971

Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum accorded to Coxswain John H Petit and Framed Letters of Thanks signed by the Chairman of the Institution to the crew for the saving of the yacht Solstice and her crew of two, 16 miles south of Guernsey in a strong gale force south-south-westerly wind and very rough sea on the evening of 20 November.

1975

Bronze Second-Service Clasp awarded to Coxswain John Petit and the Bronze Medal to Emergency Mechanic John Robilliard in recognition of the courage displayed by them when the lifeboat rescued six of the crew of the tanker Point Law which went aground on Le Puits Jorvais in a south-south-westerly gale and a very rough sea on 15 July 1975.

1978

Bronze Third-Service Clasp awarded to Coxswain John Petit, in recognition of his courage and seamanship when the lifeboat rescued the crew of four of the French yacht Canopus in difficulties approximately half a mile south east of Pleinmount Ledge in a violent west by southerly storm and heavy breaking seas on 11/12 November 1977.  Deputy Coxswain Peter Bougourd and crew member Robert Hamon were each accorded the Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum and the remainder of the crew were presented with framed certificates.

Silver Medal awarded to Coxswain John Petit, in recognition of his courage, determination and seamanship, when the lifeboat rescued two of the crew of the oil rig Orion which had broken its tow and was drifting out of control approximately half a mile south east by east of the rocks of the North West Grunes in a violent west-north-westerly storm and high seas on 1-2 February 1978.  Deputy Coxswain Lloyd De Mouilpied, Motor Mechanic Eric C Pattimore, Assistant Mechanic Robert Vowles and Crew Members Michael Scales, Robert Hamon, John Webster and John Robilliard were each accorded the Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum.  The Maud Smith Bequest for the bravest act of life-saving carried out by a member of a lifeboat crew for 1978, was awarded to coxswain John Petit for this service.

 

1979

Bronze Fourth-Service Clasp awarded to Coxswain John Petit in recognition of his courage and skill when the lifeboat recovered two bodies from the cargo vessel Cantonad that had sunk about four miles south of the Channel Light Vessel in an east-north-easterly hurricane and very rough seas on 4-5 January 1979.  The remainder of the crew were presented with framed certificates.  

1982

Gold Medal awarded to Coxswain Michael Scales and Bronze Medals to Second Coxswain Peter Nicholas, Mechanic Robert Vowles, and crew members Alan Martel, Peter Bisson, John Bougourd, Richard Hamon and John Webster for the rescue of 29 of the crew of the Ecuadorian vessel Bonita which was listing heavily in winds gusting to hurricane force and very high seas on 13 December 1981.  The master of the tug Abeille Languedoc, who rescued one of the Bonita’s crew was awarded a Framed Letter of Thanks signed by the Chairman.  The Maud Smith Bequest for the bravest act of life-saving carried out by a member of a lifeboat crew for 1981, was awarded to Coxswain Michael Scales for this service.

1983

Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum accorded to Coxswain Michael John Scales in recognition of the skill and seamanship displayed by him when the lifeboat rescued the crew of seven and saved the yacht Wild Rocket which was aground on the west side of Icart Point and pounding heavily on rocks in west-north-westerly gale and a very rough sea on 11 October.  Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum were also accorded to Second Coxswain Peter Nicholas Bougourd and Assistant Mechanic Alan Martel.

1984

Bronze Medal awarded to Coxswain Michael Scales in recognition of the courage, leadership and seamanship displayed by him when the lifeboat in a west-north-westerly storm and very high seas rescued nine of the crew of the Liberian cargo vessel Radiant Med which sank approximately 13 miles north west by north of Roche Douvres lighthouse on 24 January 1984.  The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum was accorded to Motor Mechanic Robert Vowles for carrying out his duties as a First Aider in an exemplary manner.

At a ceremony in the Queen’s Room, Baltic Exchange on 12 July, His Excellency the Greek Ambassador, Monsieur N Kyriazides presented gallantry medals on behalf of the Greek Ministry of Merchant Marine to the coxswain and crew of the St Peter Port lifeboat for their service to the Greek motor vessel Cantonad which sank in the English Channel in a hurricane on 4 January 1979.  For this service Coxswain John Petit, was awarded the Bronze Medal and his crew, Robert Hamon, Eric Pattimore, Robert Vowles, John Robilliard and Graham Eker received Medal service certificates.  Captain John Peitit, who resigned in 1980 and became the Station Honorary Secretary, received a Gold Medal from the Greek Ministry of Merchant Marine and each member of the crew received a Silver Medal.

 

1985

At a ceremony of the Little Ship Club in London on 7 November, a special certificate of commendation was presented by the Commissioner of Maritime Affairs, Republic of Liberia to the lifeboat crew in recognition of the service to the Liberian freighter Radiant Med on 24 January 1984.

Bronze Second-Service Clasp awarded to Second Coxswain Peter Bisson and the Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum accorded to Assistant Mechanic Alan Martel and crew member Michael Guille in recognition of the service carried out by them when the lifeboat rescued the crew of three and saved the French yacht Matam II in a strong southerly gale and a heavy breaking sea on 11 August 1985.

1992

Silver Medal awarded to Coxswain Peter Bisson, in recognition of his outstanding courage, seamanship and leadership when the Sir William Arnold lifeboat rescued six people from the stricken yacht Sena Sioria, and the coolness he displayed after the mizzen mast from the yacht collapsed across the foredeck injuring two members of the lifeboat crew, in a severe gale and heavy seas in the early hours of 30 August 1992.  Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum were accorded to Second Coxswain, John Bougourd, Mechanic James Youlton, Assistant Mechanic Keith Martel and crew members Philip Martel, Gary Cook, Andrew Le Provost and Vincent Helmot in recognition of their courage, skill and determination during this service.  The Maud Smith Award for the bravest act of life-saving in 1992 was made to Coxswain Peter Bisson for this service.

1995

Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum was accorded to Mechanic James Youlton and crew member Robert Harmon in recognition of their courage and skill when they manned the lifeboat’s Y boat and proceeded into an area strewn with rocks to rescue the sole occupant of the French yacht Keranne.  The yacht had broken her rudder close under the cliffs in Telegraph Bay in a southerly near gale, rough seas and darkness in the early hours of 19 October.

A Framed Letter of Thanks signed by the Chairman was awarded to Coxswain Peter Bisson.

1996

Coxswain Peter Bisson awarded MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours.

The new station Severn, class of lifeboat ON1203 Spirit of Guernsey was placed on service in June 1996.  This lifeboat was funded by Guernsey Severn Lifeboat appeal together with other gifts and legacies

2002

The Trustee Meeting held on 27 November decided that St Peter Port Lifeboat Station be awarded a Vellum to commemorate the completion of 200 years service in 2003.

2005

For services to the Institution, former Second Coxswain Robert Hamon has been honoured by Her Majesty the Queen in the recent Birthday Honours; Member, Order of the British Empire (MBE).

2008

The lifeboat rescued the crew of three of the fishing vessel Guyona on 24 June.  The service was initiated by the activation of the RNLI’s new and unique MOB Guardian system, and this was the first use of the system in a real emergency.

2009

A Framed Letter of Thanks signed by the Chairman of the Institution, Admiral the Lord Boyce GCB OBE DL was awarded to Coxswain Anthony White in recognition of his seamanship, boat handling skills and determination during a service in the early hours of 5 October 2008.  The large sail training vessel Alva had suffered a fouled propeller and rudder.  Despite south westerly force 7 to 8 winds, gusting at times to 45 knots, 6 to 9 metre seas with a 7.5 metre swell a tow was established and the Alva brought to the safety of St Peter Port.  Coxswain White’s crew received a collective Letter of Appreciation from the Chief Executive in recognition of their teamwork and efforts.

2010

Her Majesty The Queen, honoured Coxswain Buz White in her Birthday List by making him a Member, Order of the British Empire (MBE).

MEDAL RECORD

Twenty five Medals of the Institution have been awarded in Guernsey for gallantry in saving life from shipwreck – two Gold, eight Silver and 15 Bronze.

FOREIGN AWARDS

In 1931 Letter of Thanks to crew from French Government for the rescue of 17 men from Naval vessel Mutin.

The gold Medal of the Norwegian Lifeboat Institution was awarded in 1963 to Coxswain Hubert Petit for outstanding seamanship and bravery in rescuing the crew of nine of the Norwegian motor vessel Johan Collett on 5/6 February 1963.  The Norwegian Lifeboat Institution’s Silver Cup with diploma was awarded to motor mechanic Eric Pattimore and John Petit (coxswain’s son) for the same service.

The gold Medal of the Greek Ministry of Merchant Marine was awarded in 1984 to Captain John Petit, who was the coxswain of the lifeboat on 4 January 1979, in recognition of his courage during the service to the Greek motor vessel Cantonad.  Each member of the lifeboat’s crew was awarded the Silver Medal of the Greek Ministry of Merchant Marine.

A special certificate of commendation presented by the Commissioner of Maritime Affairs, Republic of Liberia to the lifeboat crew in recognition of the service to the Liberian freighter Radiant Med on 24 January 1984.