Minehead Lifeboat Station

Minehead Lifeboat Station
Minehead Lifeboat Station
RNLI lifeboat station
Country United Kingdom
County Somerset
Town Minehead
Location Quay West, TA24 5UL

51°12′50″N 3°28′31″W / 51.2140°N 3.4753°W / 51.2140; -3.4753 (Minehead Lifeboat Station)

Founded 1901
Owner Royal National Lifeboat Institution

Minehead Lifeboat Station is the base for Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) search and rescue operations at Minehead, Somerset in England. The first lifeboat was stationed in the town in 1901 but since 1976 two inshore lifeboats (ILBs) have been operated, a B Class rigid-hulled boat and a inflatable D Class.



Minehead is on the Somerset coast at the east end of the cliffs of Exmoor. The RNLI built a boathouse at a cost of £785 in 1901 and the first lifeboat was placed in service on 11 December.[1] For two years the boat was launched across the beach using skids but from 1903 a carriage was provided. The boat house was modified in 1950 by the addition of a garage for the tractor that now pulled the lifeboat in and out of the sea. In 1993 the building was modified to take a new boat and the opportunity was taken to modernise the crew facilities and add a gift shop alongside.[2]

In 1939 the station's pulling and sailing boat was withdrawn and replaced by a motor lifeboat. In 1970 an ILB was allocated to the station; it was kept in the tractor garage. This proved a success so on 20 May 1973 the all weather lifeboat was withdrawn. The following year a second, larger ILB arrived.[2] It was the first RNLI station to use a Tooltrak tractor to launch its D Class lifeboat. This replaced an older Argocat tractor in 2011.[3]


The stone-built boat house is situated at the western end of the town beyond the harbour where there is access to water at all states of the tide. There is a hard standing in front of the boat house but boats are taken down the pebble beach when launched. The original boat house has been extended with a garage at the back and a fund-raising gift shop on the west side.

Area of operation

The Atlantic 85 can be launched in Force 7 winds (Force 6 at night) and can operate at up to 35 knots (65 km/h) for 2½ hours.[4] Adjacent lifeboats are at Ilfracombe Lifeboat Station to the west, and Burnham-on-Sea Lifeboat Station to the east. If a larger all weather boat is needed in the area it may come from Ilfracombe or across the Bristol Channel from Barry Dock.[5]

Current fleet

Richard and Elizabeth Deaves (left) and Christine at sea
  • Atlantic 85 B824 Richard and Elizabeth Deaves (on station 2007)[1]
  • IB1 D712 Christine (on station 2009)[1]

Former lifeboats

'ON' is the RNLI's sequential Official Number; 'Op. No.' is the operational number painted onto the boat.

ON Name Built At Minehead Class Comments
477 George Leicester 1901 1901–1927 Liverpool 12 oars.[1][6]
494 Hopwood 1902 1927–1930 Liverpool 12 oars.[1][6]
626 Arthur Lionel 1912 1930–1939 Liverpool 12 oars. Destroyed by bomb in 1940.[1][5]
816 Kate Greatorex 1939 1939–1951 Surf Motor lifeboat. Undergoing restoration in France.[1][5]
882 B.H.M.H. 1951 1951–1973 Liverpool Motor lifeboat. Reported operating as pleasure boat The Queen Eileen at Bray in 2007.[1]

Inshore lifeboats

Op. No. Name At Minehead Class Type
C500[1] 1973–1976 C Zodiac IV
B544[1] Catherine Plumbley 1976–1994 B Atlantic 21
B708[1] Bessie 1994–2007 B Atlantic 21
D177[1] 1970–1976 D
D295[1] 1984–1992 D
D420[1] Leslie D 1992–1999 D EA16
D549[1] George and Christine 1999–2009 D EA16

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "History". Minehead Lifeboat Station. http://www.mineheadlifeboat.org.uk/history.htm. Retrieved 2010-11-19. 
  2. ^ a b "Minehead History". RNLI. http://www.rnli.org.uk/rnli_near_you/southwest/stations/MineheadSomerset/history. Retrieved 2010-11-19. 
  3. ^ "Minehead RNLI lifeboat station on track for swifter launching". RNLI. 2011-02-12. http://www.rnli.org.uk/who_we_are/press_centre/news_releases/news_release_detail?articleid=659727. Retrieved 2011-03-25. 
  4. ^ Wake-Walker, Edward (2008). The Lifeboats Story. Stroud: Sutton Publishing. p. 113. ISBN 0-7509-4858-6. 
  5. ^ a b c Denton, Tony (2009). Handbook 2009. Shrewsbury: Lifeboat Enthusiasts Society. p. 68. 
  6. ^ a b Denton, Tony (2009). pp. 4–5. 

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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