Llandudno Lifeboat Station

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Llandudno Lifeboat Station
RNLI Lifeboat station
Llandudno Lifeboat Station - geograph.org.uk - 863824.jpg
The Boathouse of Llandudno Lifeboat Station
Country Wales, UK
State Conwy
Town Llandudno
Location Lloyd Street, Llandudno, UK
 - coordinates 53°19′19″N 3°50′2″W / 53.32194°N 3.83389°W / 53.32194; -3.83389Coordinates: 53°19′19″N 3°50′2″W / 53.32194°N 3.83389°W / 53.32194; -3.83389
Founded 1861
Owner Royal National Lifeboat Institution
Visitation By appiontment only
Llandudno, Conwy

Llandudno Lifeboat Station is located in the North Wales town of Llandudno. It is the only lifeboat station in the UK to have its boathouse located in the middle of town.[1] Whereas most lifeboat stations are situated next to the sea for obvious reasons, Llandudno Lifeboat Station is situated in Lloyd Street, almost equidistant from both of Llandudno's shores. The reason for the unique situation of Llandudno Lifeboat goes back to 1861 when the boathouse was positioned so that it could be towed equally quickly to either of Llandudno's main shores. The current boathouse was constructed in 1903.[2]

The station celebrated 150 years of operation in 2011.[3] The station has a Mersey-class all-weather lifeboat as well as a D-class (IB1) inshore lifeboat run and maintained by the RNLI.


Originally called 'Ormes Head' lifeboat, the lifeboat was designed to look after the busy shipping area close to the Great Orme used by the many ships to ferry goods to the enormous Mersyside docks and other North Western destinations. The Great Orme with its shallow waters, strong tides, rocky coastline and often strong winds, claimed many ships and lives. Because of the weather and tidal conditions, plus the depths of water, vicious waves can quickly build up around the Orme and Liverpool Bay.

More recently, Llandudno lifeboat has undertaken some famous and unusual rescues. One mammoth 18-hour rescue in gale force winds in 2008 saw the lifeboat, under the command of Coxswain Graham Heritage, going 34 miles offshore to rescue a couple in distress who's boat had become anchored to the sea bed by fishing nets. Crew member Tim James was put aboard and spent an hour and a half, frequently submerged by waves, freeing the boat from the nets. As a result of their service that year The Crew were awarded the North Wales 'Your Champions' 2008 team award and Tim James received the top award 'Champion of Champions'.[4] A couple of years earlier, the inshore boat was launched to the aid of a humpback whale that had become tangled in ropes and a buoy off Rhos-on-Sea. The whale was successfully cut free probably saving its life.[5]

The Llandudno inshore lifeboat serves the immediate coastline of the Great Orme, Little Orme, Rhos-on-Sea, Colwyn Bay and Llandudno West Shore. On the West Shore there are dangerous sands, widely used by families visiting the seaside, that can quickly become flooded trapping people on the sand bars as the tide floods. Sadly these sands have caused tragedy in recent years and it is for this reason that the Llandudno Inshore Lifeboat, along with Conwy Inshore Lifeboat, are on 24-hour call for an immediate launch.

In 2011, Dan Jones, a former Llandudno Lifeboat RNLI coxswain was awarded an MBE for his dedication to the service.[6]

Proposed new lifeboat station[edit]

Llandudno's existing Mersey-class lifeboat, while sat on its transport trailer, with sea-tow Talus MB-H tractor

The current station is located 700 metres (0.43 mi) from the launching point, with its consequential launch taking on average 12–15 minutes depending on traffic conditions. Local residents around the existing lifeboat station complain of shaking every time a launch is undertaken.

Llandudno is scheduled to gain a new Shannon class lifeboat in 2015, but the existing lifeboat station is too small to house it. In previous years, a number of attempts have been made to resite the lifeboat station without success, due to planning complaints raised by local hotelliers who do not want a lifeboat station interrupting the view in front of their hotel.[7]


All Weather lifeboats[edit]

Dates in service Class ON Op. No. Name
1861–1867 32ft 10 oared Self-Righter Sisters Memorial
1867–1887 33ft 10 oared Self-righter Sisters Memorial 2
1887–1902 37ft 12 oared Self-Righter ON 124 Sunlight No. 1
1902–1930 37ft 10 oared Self-Righter ON 486 Theodore Price
1930–1931 37ft oared Self-Righter ON 465 Sarah Jane Turner
1931–1933 37ft oared Self-Righter ON 512 Matthew Simpson
1933–1953 35ft 6in Self-righting motor Single ON 768 Thomas & Annie Wade Richards
1953–1959 35ft 6in Self-righting motor Twin ON 851 Tillie Morrison, Sheffield
1959–1964 35ft 6in Liverpool Single ON 792 Annie Ronald & Isabella Forrest
1964–1990 37ft Oakley ON 976 37-09 The Lilly Wainwright
1990–present Mersey ON 1164 12-006 Andy Pearce

Inshore lifeboats[edit]

Dates in service Class Op. No. Name
1965–1996 D-class Various lifeboats
1996–2006 D-class (EA16) D-508 John Saunderson
2007–present D-class (IB1) D-656 William Robert Saunderson


  1. ^ "Lifeboat plans for home by sea". BBC News. 20 May 2004. Retrieved 10 November 2011. 
  2. ^ David Powell (10 October 2008). "Big move for Llandudno lifeboat?". Daily Post North Wales. Retrieved 10 November 2011. 
  3. ^ Judith Phillips (21 July 2011). "Llandudno lifeboat celebrates 150 years of service". North Wales Weekly News. Retrieved 10 November 2011. 
  4. ^ "Couple rescued from the high seas". BBC News. 4 September 2008. 
  5. ^ "Whale trapped in mooring rope freed". Wales Online. 2005-02-04. Retrieved 2013-08-22. 
  6. ^ Llandudno lifeboat’s coxswain gets MBE - North Wales Weekly News
  7. ^ Wena Alun Owen (7 May 2012). "Llandudno town centre boathouse rethink to fit new lifeboat". BBC Wales News. Retrieved 7 May 2012. 

External links[edit]