Station history

The station was established in 1882 and William James Holt (ON259) began service at the request of the local inhabitants and an inshore lifeboat was sent to the station in 1966.

On 12 April 1969 the Barry Dock lifeboat Rachel and Mary Evans (ON806), on relief duty at Weston-super-Mare, broke from her moorings and was wrecked. No lives were lost. A second inshore lifeboat was sent to the station. It was decided not to re-station ON961 or another conventional lifeboat at Weston-super-Mare.

No action was taken with regard to the boat's officers at Weston-super-Mare until 1970 and the retaining fees were continued until the end of April 1970.

The first lifeboat was hung from davits erected on Birnbeck Pier.

1889

Lifeboat house and 100ft slipway erected on the small island jutting out from Birnbeck Pier at a cost of £700 by Mr Palmer and William James Holt II (ON249) came into service.

1903

New lifeboat house and slipway constructed (when larger lifeboat sent to station) at a cost of £2,575 by Mr H W Pollard. 

Colonel Stock (ON488) began service.

1933

The Fifi and Charles (ON765) was the first motor lifeboat to be placed on the Somerset coast.

1961

The boathouse was adapted for an Oakley class lifeboat.

1966

An inshore lifeboat station was established and a D class lifeboat sent to station in May.

1968

Rachel and Mary Evans (ON806) began service.

1969

Second D class lifeboat sent to station in April 1969, when ALB coverage was withdrawn following the loss of Rachel and Mary Evans which broke her moorings and was wrecked on 12 April.

1970

In May 1970 one of the D class inshore lifeboats was withdrawn and replaced by the McLachlan type lifeboat.

1975

Bronze Medal awarded to Helmsman Julian Morris in recognition of the courage, seamanship and determination he displayed when the McLachlan lifeboat rescued five men from the motor boat 4D which was stranded on the rocks at Brean Down in a strong north by easterly gale and a very rough sea on 13 September 1975.

1979

The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum accorded to Helmsman Nicholas White and crew members Richard Spindler and Anthony Blizzard in recognition of the skill and determination they displayed when the D class lifeboat rescued three boys who were trapped by the tide in a cave on the south side of Brean and two coastguards, who had gone to their assistance in a southerly gale and a rough sea with breaking surf on 12 November 1978. The Ralph Glister Award, a monetary award for the most meritorious inshore lifeboat service in 1978, was made to Helmsman Nicholas White and crew members Richard Spindler and Anthony Blizzard, for this service The Royal Humane Society also awarded their testimonial on parchment to Richard Spindler and Anthony Blizzard and a certificate of commendation to Nicholas White.

1982

Centenary Vellum awarded.

1983

McLachlan replaced by Atlantic 21.

1986

The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum accorded to crew member Richard Andrew Spindler in recognition of his selfless act of bravery, when he swam from the lifeboat B557 to rescue two boys cut off by the tide at Brean Down on 20 July.

1991-1992

During the winter a westerly storm force 11 wind, gusting to force 12, badly damaged the slipway and the top two thirds had to be replaced during the spring and summer of 1992. During this time both lifeboats were relocated to afloat moorings in the River Axe estuary at uphill.

1998

The D class, D-537 Faith, was placed on service.

2001

A Framed Letter of Thanks signed by the Chairman of the Institution Mr Peter Nicholson awarded to Helmsman Peter Watts, in recognition of his resolution, fine judgement and boathandling skills, when the Atlantic 75 B769 Coventry and Warwickshire, which replaced the Atlantic 21 lifeboat, conducted a search in poor weather conditions in a treacherous operating area in surf close inshore on the night of 7/8 October 2001.

2007

Reinstatement of derelict slipway and temporary boat facilities completed in July at a cost of £22,130.

2008

The new station IB1 class lifeboat D-696 Annie Stock II was placed on service on 7 May. Lifeboat D-537 has been withdrawn.

The new station B Class lifeboat B-769 Coventry and Warwickshire was placed back on service 6 Aug 2008. This lifeboat was funded by the Warwick appeal.