Burnham-on-Sea Lifeboat Station

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Burnham-on-Sea Lifeboat Station
Burnham-on-Sea new lifeboat station.jpg
Burnham-on-Sea Lifeboat Station is located in Somerset
Burnham-on-Sea Lifeboat Station
General information
TypeRNLI Lifeboat Station
LocationPier Street, TA8 1BT
CountryUnited Kingdom
Coordinates51°14′01″N 2°59′50″W / 51.2337°N 2.9973°W / 51.2337; -2.9973Coordinates: 51°14′01″N 2°59′50″W / 51.2337°N 2.9973°W / 51.2337; -2.9973
OpenedFirst lifeboat 1836
Present station 2003
OwnerRoyal National Lifeboat Institution

Burnham-on-Sea Lifeboat Station is the base for Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) search and rescue operations at Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset in England. A lifeboat was stationed in the town from 1836 until 1930. The present station was opened in 2003. It operates two inshore lifeboats (ILBs), a B Class rigid-inflatable boat and an inflatable D Class.


The 1874 boat house, seen in 2010

Burnham-on-Sea is on the Bristol Channel near the mouth of the River Parrett. Ships entering the river to Bridgwater have to negotiate sand banks and mudflats. The first lifeboat at Burnham-on-Sea was a gift by Sir Peregrine Acland to the Corporation of Bridgwater in 1836. This was replaced by a new boat in 1847.[1]

In 1866 the RNLI took over the service from the Bridgwater Harbour Trust. A new boat was provided and a new boat house built but this was replaced by a new building in 1874[1] next to the railway station. A siding was laid to the boat house and the boat on its carriage was hauled down the track by horses to the slipway. The station was closed in 1930 and has since had several uses including a scout hut and children's play centre.[2]

Lifeboats returned to the town in 1994 when the Burnham Area Rescue Boat (BARB) provided an inflatable inshore rescue boat and, from 2003, hovercraft that could operate on the local mudflats. BARB asked the RNLI to take over the provision of a sea-going inshore rescue boat, which it did when a new lifeboat station was built near the old 1874 boat house and brought into use on 23 December 2003.[1]

In 2014, two members of the crew received signed Letters of Appreciation from the Chief Executive of the RNLI for their part in the rescue of 3 teenagers caught in fast flowing water at the end of Burnham-on-Sea jetty the previous summer.

In 2016 Puffin a D-class lifeboat, which had been in service for ten years, was replaced by a new craft named Burnham Reach after a campaign raised the nearly £50,000 which was needed.[3]

Area of operation[edit]

The Atlantic 75, which is launched using a Talus MB-4H[4] launch tractor aboard a Do-Do carriage,[5] can operate in Force 7 winds (Force 6 at night), has a top speed of 32 knots (59 km/h) and a range of 2½ hours at maximum speed.[6] Adjacent lifeboats are at Minehead Lifeboat Station to the west, and Weston-super-Mare Lifeboat Station to the north. If a larger all weather lifeboat is needed in the area it can be summoned from Barry Dock.[7]


B-795 Staines Whitfield

All-weather lifeboats (1836–1930)[edit]

Dates in service Class ON Name
1866–1887 Cheltenham[1]
1887–1902 Self-Righter ON 138 John Godfrey Morris[1][8]
1902–1930 Liverpool-class ON 498 Phillip Beach[1][9]

Inshore Lifeboats[edit]


Dates in service Class Op. No. Name Comments
2003–2004 D-class (EA16) D-424 City of Chester[10] [Note 1]
2004–2005 D-class (EA16) D-495 Elsie Frances II[11] [Note 2]
2005–2006 D-class (EA16) D-552 Global Marine[12] [Note 3]
2006–2016 D-class (IB1) D-664 Puffin
2016 – present D-class (IB1) D-801 Burnham Reach


Dates in service Class Op. No. Name Comments
2003–2004 Atlantic 75-class B-700 Susan Peacock[13] [Note 4]
2004–2019 Atlantic 75-class B-795 Staines Whitfield
2019-Current Atlantic 85-class B-914 Doris Day and Brian


  1. ^ City of Chester was originally stationed at Fleetwood. Burnham-on-Sea was its last station before it was withdrawn from service.
  2. ^ Elsie Frances II was the Bude ILB from launching until it was transferred to Burnham-on-Sea. It was withdrawn in 2007.
  3. ^ Global Marine was initially the lifeboat at Marazion Lifeboat Station; since 2007 it has been a part of the training fleet.
  4. ^ Susan Peacock was the first Atlantic 75 lifeboat, a total of 97 being built between 1993 and 2003. Since 2006 it has been part of the RNLI training fleet.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Burnham-on-Sea History". RNLI. Archived from the original on 7 October 2008. Retrieved 19 November 2010.
  2. ^ Oakley, Mike (2006). Somerset Railway Stations. Bristol: Redcliffe Press. pp. 32–33. ISBN 1-904537-54-5.
  3. ^ "RNLI Somerset lifeboat launched with jug of cider". BBC. Retrieved 9 April 2017.
  4. ^ "Talus MB-4H Tractor". Details of the MB-4H production. Clayton Engineering Ltd. Retrieved 26 March 2014.
  5. ^ "A85 DO-DO Carriage – Clayton Engineering". Details of the Clayton DoDo launch carriage. Clayton Engineering Ltd. Retrieved 26 March 2014.
  6. ^ "Atlantic 75 and 85 (B Class)". RNLI. Archived from the original on 1 January 2011. Retrieved 2 December 2010.
  7. ^ Denton, Tony (2010). Handbook 2010. Shrewsbury: Lifeboat Enthusiasts Society. p. 68.
  8. ^ Denton (2010), p. 4
  9. ^ Denton (2010), pp. 12–13
  10. ^ Denton (2010), p. 60
  11. ^ Denton (2010), p. 61
  12. ^ Denton (2010), p. 62
  13. ^ Denton (2010), p. 51

External links[edit]