Cardigan Lifeboat Station

Cardigan Lifeboat Station
RNLI Lifeboat station
Cardigan Lifeboat Station
Country Wales, UK
County Pembrokeshire
Town Cardigan
Location Cardigan, Ceredigion, Wales
 - coordinates 52°06′17″N 4°41′58″W / 52.10472°N 4.69944°W / 52.10472; -4.69944Coordinates: 52°06′17″N 4°41′58″W / 52.10472°N 4.69944°W / 52.10472; -4.69944
Founded 1849
Owner Royal National Lifeboat Institution
Cardigan, Ceredigion

Cardigan Lifeboat Station, at Poppit Sands, North Pembrokeshire, near Cardigan, Ceredigion, Wales, is a Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) lifeboat station opened in 1849. The station closed in 1932 but reopened in 1971 as an inshore lifeboat station.[1]

The present station operates both a D-class lifeboat and a B-class Atlantic 75 lifeboat.


The original Cardigan lifeboat station was built in 1849 (on the south side of the River Teifi estuary below Penrhyn Castle)[2] after the loss of the crew from the brig Agnes Lee. This station was taken over by the RNLI the following year.[3] In 1876 a replacement boathouse with slipway was built, the remains of which can be seen down the estuary at Black Rocks. In 1880, a small breakwater was built to protect the boathouse and launching site. The boathouse was abandoned in 1932, and the all-weather lifeboat was withdrawn, leaving the nearest stations at Fishguard and New Quay. The subsequent popularity of this area, with increased leisure incidents and accidents, led to the decision to construct a new station on the present site; this opened in 1971.[4]

In 1987 a new boathouse, built for the new C-class lifeboat, was officially opened. Then in 1998 a new double boathouse was completed for a B-class and D-class lifeboats, for the Talus MB-4H[5] launching vehicle, and it also provided improved crew facilities. Consequently, the station today houses two inshore lifeboats, which operate from the beach.[2]

The lifeboat crew have training sessions twice a week - on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings; visitors to the station are welcomed at these times. Over the years crews have been presented with 15 awards for gallantry.[6]

The station also houses an RNLI shop, open throughout the year, volunteers permitting.

Associated with the lifeboat station is a coastguard lookout post, part of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency Emergency Response, located on the other side of the estuary, on the cliff top at Gwbert.[7][8]

In December 2011 a crew at the station - comprising Gemma Griffiths, Sarah Griffiths and Louise Francis - made history by being the first all-female volunteer lifeboat crew to respond to a callout in Wales.[9]


The Talus MB-4H amphibious tractor at Cardigan RNLI station, used for transporting the B-class Atlantic 85 lifeboat to and from the water

All-weather lifeboats (1849–1932)

Dates in service Class ON Name
1849–1850 27ft Pulling
1850–1864 30ft Pulling
1864–1883 32ft Self-righter John Stuart
1883–1905 34ft Self-righter ON 177 Lizzie and Charles Leigh Clare
1905–1932 Liverpool-class P&S ON 547 Elizabeth Austin

Inshore lifeboats (1971–present)

C- & D-class

Landrover at Cardigan RNLI station, used for transporting the D-class lifeboat
Dates in service Class Op. No. Name Comments
1971–1987 D-class (RFD PB16) D-194 Unnamed
1987–1993 C-class C- Unnamed Holed and sunk October 1993
Station closed[10]
1998 D-class (EA16) D-492 Lawnflite
1998–1999 D-class (EA16) D-467 Kathleen Scaddenn
1999–2009 D-class (EA16) D-547 Society of Societies
2009–present D-class (IB1) D-709 Elsie Ida Meade


Dates in service Class Op. No. Name
1999–2013 Atlantic 75-class B-752 Tanni Grey
2013–present Atlantic 85-class B-871 Albatross


An early 20th century postcard entitled "Black Rocks and Lifeboat House" (centre, just above waterline). This was the 1876 boathouse.

Note: The three 2014 awards were made for the same rescue[15]

See also


  1. "Cardigan Lifeboat Station". Retrieved 2013-05-22.
  2. 1 2 - Cardigan station history Retrieved 27 August 2012
  3. "Those were the days". Tivyside Advertiser. 2 May 1996. Retrieved 28 October 2014.
  4. Poppit Sands Information Board
  5. "Talus MB-4H Tractor". Description and details of the Model. Clayton Engineering Limited. Retrieved 25 March 2014.
  6. RNLI - Lifeboat Station : Cardigan Retrieved 30 October 2011
  7. Map of Maritime & Coastguard Agency Emergency Response Centres Retrieved 10 May 2014
  8. UK Government Properties database Retrieved 10 May 2014
  9. BBC News Retrieved 19 June 2014
  11. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 "Station History » CARDIGAN LIFEBOAT STATION".
  12. Lewis, W.J. (1990). Gateway to Wales: A History of Cardigan. Retrieved 28 October 2014.
  13. "Cardigan RNLI volunteers awarded the Walter and Elizabeth Groombridge Award". Retrieved 21 November 2014.
  14. "Bravery award for Cardigan RNLI volunteers". Tivyside Advertiser. 13 March 2015. Retrieved 14 March 2015.
  15. "Bravery awards after Cardigan lifeboat rescue". BBC. Retrieved 28 October 2014.
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