Tenby Lifeboat Station

Tenby Lifeboat Station
RNLI Lifeboat station
Tenby's 2005 Lifeboat Station
Country Wales
County Pembrokeshire
Town Tenby
Location Castle Square, Tenby, Pembrokeshire, Wales
 - coordinates 51°40′23″N 4°41′38″W / 51.67306°N 4.69389°W / 51.67306; -4.69389Coordinates: 51°40′23″N 4°41′38″W / 51.67306°N 4.69389°W / 51.67306; -4.69389
Founded 1854
Owner Royal National Lifeboat Institution
On land leased from the Crown Estate
Visitation Summer Months only
Tenby, Pembrokeshire

Tenby Lifeboat Station is a lifeboat station in Tenby, Pembrokeshire, Wales that has been situated to the east of the town since 1852, three generations having been built; the original and updates in 1905 and 2005. The station currently houses two lifeboats.[1]

The Tamar-class lifeboat is called Haydn Miller, after the farmer who left £3m to the RNLI in his will. The inshore D-class (IB1) lifeboat is called Georgina Taylor, (the 3rd ILB donated by the legacy).[2]


The rebuilt 1894 Victorian lifeboat station in Tenby harbour
The old 1905 (near, cream & red) and new 2008 (far, silver) lifeboat stations at Tenby
The empty Tenby harbour at low-tide with views towards the lifeboat stations, which still have direct water access into the sea

The station was established in 1852, by The Shipwrecked Fishermen and Mariners' Royal Benevolent Society. The Society still exists, but its Tenby lifeboat activity was taken over in 1854 by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and the first RNLI boathouse was built on the town's castle beach in 1862. Six silver medals were awarded for coastal rescues from the station in the 19th century.[3]

A difficulty with launching from the harbour site was the shallow angle of the underlying geological strata. The sand beaches at Tenby were a hazard due to the speed of the tide, and an obstacle to overcome while dragging a 2 ton lifeboat from the harbour. When in 1905 the time came to replace the boat with a larger and heavier one, a new boathouse and roller slipway were built on the north side of Castle Hill. It was constructed using the new screw-piles that had been created for the foundations in deep sand of Victorian era pleasure piers. The lifeboat was then usable in all weathers and states of tide. It later became a public access way, with the ferry boat to Caldey Island using the slipway as a disembarkation point for tourists. Due to the legal status of foreshore in the UK, the ground on which these lifeboat stations are built has been leased from the Crown Estate.[4]

In 1923, the first motor-powered lifeboat came on station. The lifeboat operated throughout World War II, in part due to the three squadrons of Royal Air Force Short Sunderland flying boats operating from Milford Haven. In 1952 the station was awarded an RNLI Vellum for 100 years of service.

1972-onwards: dual-boat station

From 1972, the station became a dual-boat station with an inshore D-class (EA16) lifeboat stationed within the harbour. In 1976, a new ILB boathouse was built on the north side of the harbour to house the boat and a tractor. On 6 September 1986, the Tyne-class lifeboat RFA Sir Galahad came on station. Named after the Royal Fleet Auxiliary Round Table-class landing ship logistics which was sunk subsequent to being damaged during the Falklands War, it became the last boat to use the original boathouse. By the time the station was awarded its 150 years Vellum by the RNLI in 2002, another new lifeboat house was planned.

Having obtained an extended lease from the Crown Estate, the RNLI obtained planning permission from the council to build a new lifeboat station on the site of the demolished Victorian era pleasure pier.[5] Due to access restrictions via the North Castle cliff, the £5.5million lifeboat station was built from the sea.[5] Only a supply of concrete was approved to be transported by road through the town.[5] Construction, commissioning works and acceptance were completed in March 2005.[6]

Tenby received the first of the new Tamar-class lifeboats, the Haydn Miller, which came on station for training in March 2006.[7] While the crew were still under training, the boat had a successful callout in April 2006. .[8]

After being refused planning permission to demolish the old Grade II listed lifeboat station,[4] which had been extended twice to accommodate larger lifeboats,[6] the RNLI eventually sold it into private hands. The new owner agreed the purchase of the freehold from the Crown Estate, and converted it into a four bedroom property.[4][9] Development of the property was covered by Channel 4 for an episode of Grand Designs, and finished in 2011.[10][11]

Visitor access

This station is classed as an "Explore" lifeboat station by the RNLI, aiming to offer their best visitor experience. When the boats are not on call, the station offers free access in the summer months, and pre-booked tours in the winter. Visitors can go inside and look around, see the lifeboat and visit the RNLI gift shop.


All Weather Boats

Dates in service Class ON Op. No. Name
1923–1930 45ft Watson-class ON 684 John R Webb[12]
1930–1955 45ft 6in Watson-class ON 729 John R Webb
1955–1986 46ft 9in Watson-class ON 925 Henry Comber Brown
1986–2006 Tyne-class ON 1112 47-010 RFA Sir Galahad
2006–present Tamar-class ON 1281 16-02 Haydn Miller

Inshore Lifeboats

Dates in service Class Op. No. Name
1972–1986 D-class D-204 unnamed
1986–1993 D-class D-315 Charlie B
1993–2001 D-class (EA16) D-438 Arthur and Georgina Stanley Taylor
2001–2009 D-class (EA16) D-562 Georgina Stanley Taylor
2009–present D-class (IB1) D-727 Georgina Taylor


At least two crew members have been awarded the MBE. Alan Thomas received his in 2004, Charles Crockford in 2002.[13][14] The station and its lifeboat crews over its 160 years plus of operations have gained the following RNLI awards:

See also


  1. Tenby History
  2. "Tenby lifeboat named after donor". BBC Wales. 20 March 2010. Retrieved 2012-08-21.
  3. "History". Tenby RNLI. Retrieved 20 January 2015.
  4. 1 2 3 "Boat station demolition refused". BBC Wales. 6 February 2008. Retrieved 2012-08-21.
  5. 1 2 3 "Lifeboat station will be replaced". BBC Wales. 1 June 2003. Retrieved 2012-08-21.
  6. 1 2 "New £5.5m home for Tenby lifeboat". BBC Wales. 1 March 2005. Retrieved 2012-08-21.
  7. "Lifeboat first for Tenby station". BBC Wales. 2 March 2006. Retrieved 2012-08-21.
  8. "Lifeboat completes first rescue". BBC Wales. 18 April 2006. Retrieved 2012-08-21.
  9. "Tenby lifeboat station redevelopment plans approved". Western Telegraph. 18 August 2009. Retrieved 2012-08-21.
  10. Rachael Misstear (August 6, 2011). "Grand Designs for Tenby's old lifeboat house damages historic Castle Hill wall". Wales Online. Retrieved 2012-08-21.
  11. "Couple's grand designs rescues Tenby's historic lifeboat station". Wales Online. 27 September 2011. Retrieved 20 January 2015.
  12. "Bon voyage for old Tenby lifeboat". BBC Wales. 19 February 2007. Retrieved 2012-08-21.
  13. "Tenby lifeboat coxswain retires after 44 years". Western Telegraph. 30 January 2010. Retrieved 15 October 2014.
  14. "Honours for Wales". BBC. 31 December 2001. Retrieved 15 October 2014.
  15. "Tenby Lifeboat Station - History". Retrieved 15 October 2014.

Further reading

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