Great Yarmouth and Gorleston Lifeboat Station
|Great Yarmouth and Gorleston lifeboat station|
|RNLI Lifeboat station|
Great Yarmouth and Gorleston lifeboat station
|Location||Great Yarmouth and Gorleston lifeboat station, Riverside Road, Gorleston, Norfolk, UK|
|Owner||Royal National Lifeboat Institution|
|Visitation||All year round|
Great Yarmouth and Gorleston lifeboat station is a RNLI base in Norfolk, England. There were originally two separate stations at Great Yarmouth and Gorleston - two coastal towns either side of the River Yare. These were merged in 1926.
Great Yarmouth received its first lifeboat in 1802. It was never called out.
In 1825 the Norfolk Association for Saving the Lives of Shipwrecked Mariners stationed its first lifeboat at Great Yarmouth. The station was taken over by the RNLI in 1857 and in 1859 a new lifeboat house was built at a cost of £375. The station closed in 1919.
The Gorleston lifeboat station was established by the RNLI in 1866. In 1881 a new boathouse was built at Gorleston for £329 and in 1883 a second boathouse (Gorleston No.2) was built alongside. This closed in 1926 when Gorleston No.1 station was renamed Great Yarmouth and Gorleston.
During 1897 the station received its first steam lifeboat City of Glasgow and during 1921 its first motor lifeboat.
Great Yarmouth and Gorleston
In 1963 an inshore lifeboat station was established with a D class lifeboat that remained in service until 1978.
In 1975 a B class Atlantic 21 lifeboat was sent to the station.
During 1993 crew facilities were upgraded, a gift-shop built and a display area created for the former Gorleston lifeboat John and Mary Meiklam of Gladswood. The boathouse was further extended in 2002.
The current lifeboats on station are the Trent class Samarbeta and the B class Seahorse IV.
In October 1922 the Gorleston pulling and sailing lifeboat and the Lowestoft motor lifeboat, after a struggle lasting 32 hours, brought to safety the whole crew of 24 and a black kitten from the steamship SS Hopelyn wrecked on Scroby Sands.
In 1927 lifeboats from Great Yarmouth & Gorleston, Cromer, Southwold and Lowestoft took part in the rescue of the Dutch oil tanker Georgia. This service is considered to be one of the greatest in the history of the RNLI.
The stations suffered four major lifeboat disasters between 1866 and 1888:
- In 1866 twelve Gorleston boatmen died when their private lifeboat Rescuer capsized in a storm.
- In 1867 while returning to harbour after a rescue a fishing lugger collided with Rescuer. She capsized and six of her crew and 19 other people drowned.
- In 1881 six lifeboatmen from the Great Yarmouth lifeboat Abraham Thomas drowned when their vessel overturned in heavy seas while attempting to rescue a seaman from a stranded schooner.
- On November 10th 1888 four crew from the private Gorleston lifeboat Refuge drowned whilst on a rescue to The steamer Akaba.
The 300 ton steamer was on route to Dundee loaded with Jute.The lifeboat with the aid of the other local lifeboat the Friend of all Nations, went to assist and managed to put some men aboard before the boat was smashed against the hull and lost her rudder. The boat with seven crew was taken under tow, but whilst entering Yarmouth harbour the rope became disengaged and she was washed onto North sands and then was hit by a big wave and capsized. Henry Smith Chief boatman of the coastguard was on the beach and without thought for his own life, managed to save two crew members Bonney and Woods.Whilst a boatman of the coastguard named Norton saved George Jacobs Who was clinging to the stern post.Aaron George was washed up on the beach dead and two days later the body of Samuel George was found washed ashore on the beach. William Whiley and one other man also drowned.
The station has been awarded 1 gold medal, 21 silver medals, 24 bronze medals, 5 vellum inscriptions and 9 framed letters of thanks.
Over 100 lifeboat crew were given the Freedom of the Borough of Great Yarmouth in 1982.
Notes and references
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Great Yarmouth and Gorleston Lifeboat Station.|
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