With the first station established before 1825, Padstow’s connection with lifeboats spans nearly 200 years.
Nestled into Cornwall’s north coast along the Camel Estuary, Padstow has long been synonymous with the sea. Welcoming both local and visiting fishing vessels into its harbour, fishing and maritime activities are deeply entrenched in the town’s history.
Naturally, the creation of a local lifeboat service was a vital step in safeguarding many of the crews out at sea and the first lifeboat built by the Padstow Harbour Association was completed in 1827 and kept at nearby Hawkers Cove. Taking over the station in 1856, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (the RNLI) have remained guardians ever since.
Following on from the first station in the early nineteenth century, a series of stations have been created and demolished in different locations around Padstow throughout the years. The most recent can be found at Trevose Head and was completed in 2006. Built to accommodate the new Tamar class lifeboat, Spirit of Padstow, the Padstow Lifeboat Station remains in constant use with dedicated teams regularly training and attending shouts.
The most sophisticated lifeboat of her time, Spirit of Padstow was placed in service on July 17th 2006. Built in two halves and stuck together, she is both lightweight and incredibly strong. In fact, she is so strong that just one square meter is able to withstand a force of nearly 70 tonnes.
With fishing, sailing and water sports as popular as ever, the presence of lifeboats all around Cornwall is hugely important. Largely made up of volunteers, lifeboat teams regularly face difficult and dangerous conditions to save lives at sea.
To learn first-hand about the work of the RNLI, the lifeboat, station and crew, you can visit Padstow Lifeboat Station. With lots of information about the lifeboat service’s history, newspaper articles and stories about the lives that have been saved, the station offers a fascinating insight into the crucial role of the lifeboat and its teams.
Rain or shine, if you would like to visit, the Padstow Lifeboat Station is open to the public Monday to Friday from 10am to 4pm. If you are arriving by car, access is via a toll road and there is a car park available.
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