Selsey Lifeboat Station

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Selsey Lifeboat Station
Flag of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.svg
Selsey Lifeboat Station.jpg
Selsey Lifeboat Station
Selsey Lifeboat Station is located in West Sussex
Selsey Lifeboat Station
Location of Selsey Lifeboat station within West Sussex
General information
TypeRNLI Lifeboat Station
LocationChichester District, South East England, West Sussex
CountryEngland
Coordinates50°43′38.0″N 0°46′43.9″W / 50.727222°N 0.778861°W / 50.727222; -0.778861Coordinates: 50°43′38.0″N 0°46′43.9″W / 50.727222°N 0.778861°W / 50.727222; -0.778861
Opened1861
OwnerRoyal National Lifeboat Institution

Selsey Lifeboat Station is an RNLI station[1] located in the town of Selsey in the English county of West Sussex in the United Kingdom.[2]

The station operates a Shannon-class lifeboat Denise and Eric (ON-1327) which is launched via SLARS from the main boathouse which stands onshore at the Kingsway, Selsey. The station also operates a D-class (IB1) inshore lifeboat, RNLB Betty and Thomas Moore (D-691).

In 2017, Selsey received a new 25 knot (29 mph) Shannon Class Lifeboat after almost 34 years of service by Tyne-class lifeboats RNLB City of London (ON-1074) and RNLB Voluntary Worker (ON-1146) the longest of any station in the RNLI.

History[edit]

The establishment of a lifeboat service in Selsey was in 1861 with RNLB The Friend;[3] she was launched from the beach by means of skids. For the station's first 25 years the lifeboat's Coxswain was James Lawrence.[4][5] On his retirement from the service in 1886 he was awarded a RNLI silver medal in acknowledgment of his long and valuable lifesaving service, highlighting rescues such as those of the brigs Governor Maclean (1875)[6] and Sharah Ann (1871), the schooners Exel (1872) and Henrietta (1875), the barques Sueine Meinde (1878), and Tranmere (1883), and the schooner Kyanite (1881).[4] In 1925 work began on the construction of a new boathouse built on a piled platform with a gangway leading to it from the shore. The gangway incorporated a trolley track. In 1927 the boathouse was once more re-built to enable it to house the station's new motor lifeboat.

During the Second World War the station had a busy time. The Watson-class lifeboat RNLB Canadian Pacific (ON 803)[7] made many trips to rescue pilots from fallen aeroplanes[8] and was launched on service 50 times. In one rescue on 11 July 1940, the lifeboat saved the life of Squadron Leader John Peel, the commanding officer of 145 Squadron based at Tangmere.[9] He was forced to ditch his Hurricane (P3400) into the sea off Selsey Bill after sustaining damage in a fight with German Bombers. Peel was in the water with just a Mae West life saving jacket, but he was pulled from the water by Canadian Pacific only minutes after ditching.[10] Canadian Pacific remained on station until 1969 and records show that she went on 286 services and rescued 157 lives.

The old Selsey RNLI boat house closed and removed 2017.

In 1952 and into 1953 the boathouse's substructure was improved and strengthened and the slipway was lengthened. In 1958 the boathouse was re-built as the old structure had become unsafe and unserviceable due to years of coastal erosion. The new station was built with reinforced concrete and the deep water roller slipway[11] was re-configured to have a gradient of 1:5. The station was also given a new fabricated steel approach gangway from the shore.

In 1968 the service at Selsey was enhanced with the establishment of an inshore lifeboat rescue division. This new service started in March[12] of that year with the new lifeboat kept in a boathouse located by the approach gangway to the all-weather boathouse. The inshore lifeboat was launched on a newly constructed gangway laid on the shingle beach to the eastern side of the main slipway.[12] The first inshore lifeboat was a D-class lifeboat. Further improvements were made to the inshore service with the construction of a new boathouse in 1987, the new structure including a new crew room, storeroom and a souvenir shop.

In 2011 the station celebrated its 150 years as a continuously active lifeboat station.[13] The occasion was marked by the RNLI by awarding the station as a whole an award on vellum which recognised the station's 150 years of dedicated service in the pursuit of saving lives at sea.

A brand new station was built onshore at the Kingsway, Selsey that allowed for the first time all elements of the RNLI at Selsey to come together under one roof on a single site, the new boathouse provides a fund raising shop, engagement spaces, access to the viewing gallery of the boat halls that hold the All Weather and Inshore lifeboat, a crew training room and offices, mechanics workshop and stores and for the first time a bespoke changing area for the crew.

On 1 April 2017, the station's Tyne class lifeboat Voluntary Worker was launched down the slipway from the boathouse for the final time, to be kept at moorings until its was replaced by the new Shannon class lifeboat during the summer, The Shannon is carriage launched from a brand new boathouse built on shore at the Kingsway, Selsey.

The old Slipway station was demolished and removed June-July 2017, and the seabed returned to its natural state. Voluntary Worker was returned to Poole HQ in July 2017 where it is currently waiting to be sold.

After intensive training the stations new Shannon class lifeboat Denise and Eric was placed on service July 2017, and officially named on 21st September 2017 at a ceremony held at Selsey's new onshore lifeboat station.

Fleet[edit]

All weather lifeboats[edit]

Dates in service Class ON Op. No. Name Comments
1922–1929 40ft Self-righting motor ON 673 Jane Holland
1929–1937 45ft 6in Watson-class ON 714 Canadian Pacific Ex Cromer No.1. Destroyed by fire at Groves & Guttridge boatyard 18/6/37
1937–1938 45ft Watson-class ON 671 The Brothers Relief fleet boat. Ex Penlee, Falmouth
1938–1969 46ft Watson-class ON 803 Canadian Pacific Replacement for ON 714
1969–1983 48ft 6in Oakley-class Mk.II ON 1015 48-12 Charles Henry
1983–2006 Tyne-class ON 1074 47-001 City of London
2006–2017 Tyne-class ON 1146 47-031 Voluntary Worker Ex Lytham St. Annes
2017–present Shannon-class ON 1327 13-20 Denise and Eric Carriage launched from onshore new boathouse

Inshore lifeboats[edit]

Dates in service Class Op. No. Name
1968–1970 D-class (RFD PB16) D-164 unnamed
1970–1980 D-class (RFD PB16) D-138 unnamed
1981–1989 D-class (EA16) D-277 Sea Lion
1989–1998 D-class (EA16) D-382 unnamed
1998–2008 D-class (EA16) D-533 Peter Cornish
2008–present D-class (IB1) D-691 Betty and Thomas Moore

Station honours[edit]

Award Date Name Award Note & Reference
May 1886 Coxswain James 'Pilot' Lawrence RNLI Silver Medal 25 Years Service[4]
June 1930 The Lifeboat crew members Thanks on Vellum
June 1930 Coxswain Frederick Barnes Bronze Medal Rescue of the Lucy B of Rye [14]
April 1950 Crewman William Arnell Thanks on Vellum & Maud Smith Award for Bravest Act
November 1951 Coxswain Leslie Pennycord RNLI Bronze Medal Rescue of the MV Swift of Costa Rica.[15]
July 1956 The Lifeboat crew members Thanks on Vellum Triple Rescue of the Maalust, Bloodhound and Coima
July 1956 Coxswain Douglas Grant RNLI Silver Medal Triple Rescue of the Maalust, Bloodhound and Coima[16]
January 1961 Selsey Lifeboat Station Centenary Vellum – RNLI
December 1977 The Lifeboat crew members Vellum service certificate
December 1977 Acting Coxswain Mike Grant Thanks on Vellum
December 1978 The Lifeboat crew members Vellum service certificate
December 1978 Coxswain Mike Grant Thanks on Vellum
January 1979 The Lifeboat crew members Medal service certificate Rescue of the SS Cape Coast of Panama
January 1979 Coxswain Mike Grant RNLI Silver Medal Rescue of the SS Cape Coast of Panama[17]
September 1983 The Lifeboat crew members Medal service certificate The rescue of Enchantress of Hamble
September 1983 Coxswain Mike Grant RNLI Silver Medal (Second) The rescue of Enchantress of Hamble[18]
October 1983 Dave Munday Ralph Glister Award for Meritorious Service
October 1983 Tony Delahunty Ralph Glister Award for Meritorious Service
October 1983 Nigel Osborn Ralph Glister Award for Meritorious Service
October 1983 The ILB crew members Framed letter of thanks
October 1983 Helmsman Dave Munday RNLI Bronze Medal The rescue of the Joan Maureen[19]
March 1984 Mechanic Ron Wells 25 years Service Award and the British Empire Medal
May 1984 D Cockayn – hon. Sec. 20 years Service Gold Badge
January 1988 Molly Woods 30 years Service Gold Badge
January 1995 Ron Carbines Dedicated Service Gold Badge
January 1998 Dr Andrew Warwick – Medical Officer Dedicated Service Gold Badge
January 1999 Jean Warwick Dedicated Service Gold Badge
January 1999 Clive Cockayne Dedicated Service Gold Badge
January 2011 Selsey Lifeboat Station 150 years Vellum 150 years as a continuously active lifeboat station[13]
January 2012 Clive Cockayne Bar to Dedicated Service Gold Badge

Neighbouring station locations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The RNLI Selsey Lifeboat Station website". Home page of station website – RNLI. ©2014 RNLI. Retrieved 19 February 2014.
  2. ^ Chichester, South Harting, and Selsey OS Explorer Map 120 Folded Map. Publisher: Ordnance Survey; B2 edition. Publishing Date:2009.ISBN 978 0319 4676 26
  3. ^ "Selsey – Fishermen, Lifeboatmen and Coastguards". Photograph of the first lifeboat The Friend. Paralytic Pig – Family Tree. Retrieved 19 February 2014.
  4. ^ a b c Lifeboat Gallantry RNLI medals and how they were won. Edited by:Barry Cox. Published:Spink, London, 1998. Page 178 – James Lawrence – Coxswain of Selsey Lifeboat.ISBN 0 907605 89 3
  5. ^ "Selsey – Fishermen, Lifeboatmen and Coastguards". Photograph of James 'Pilot' Lawrence. Paralytic Pig – Family Tree. Retrieved 19 February 2014.
  6. ^ "Index of Fast Sailing Ships — Their Design and Construction, 1775-1875". Reference to the Governor Maclean – Listed under M. Library of Congress catalog. Retrieved 19 February 2014.
  7. ^ "Watson class lifeboats". Reference to Watson-class lifeboat Canadian Pacific. ©2014 NavyNuts. Retrieved 19 February 2014.
  8. ^ Strong To Save – Dramatic first-hand accounts of the RNLI lifeboat rescues around the British Isles. Authors: Kipling, Ray and Susannah. Publisher:Patrick Stephens Ltd. Date: 1998 Third print. Work: Chapter 3, The Second World War – under fire, Page 57, reference to Selsey helping Airmen. ISBN 1 85260 495 6
  9. ^ "Obituarie — Group Captain John Peel". Daily Telegraph – Obituarie for Group Captain John Peel – reference to his rescue. ©2014 Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 19 February 2014.
  10. ^ Shot Down And In The Drink – RAF and Commonwealth aircrews saved from the sea 1939-1945. Author:Pitchfork, Graham. Publisher:The National Archives – Date: 2005. work: Chapter 7, The first three years, Page 80, ISBN 1 903365 87 2
  11. ^ Heroes All! – The story of the RNLI. Authur: Beilby, Alec. Publisher: Patrick Stephens Ltd – Haynes Publishing Group 1992. Work: Chapter 18, The Lifeboat Stations, South and West Britain and Ireland, page 171, Selsey. ISBN 1 85260 419 0
  12. ^ a b For Those In Peril – The Lifeboat Service of the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, Station by Station. Author: Leach, Nicholas. Publisher: Silver Link Publishing Ltd, First Issue 1999. Work:Part 2, South Coast of England – Eastbourne to Weston-super-Mare, Page 75, Selsey. ISBN 1 85794 129 2
  13. ^ a b "Selsey Lifeboat Station News — Vellum Awarded for 150 Years of Service Made by Selsey Lifeboat". News of the 150 year celebration on the station’s website. Selsey Lifeboat Station. Retrieved 19 February 2014.
  14. ^ Lifeboat Gallantry RNLI medals and how they were won. Edited by:Barry Cox. Published:Spink, London, 1998. Page 262 – Frederick Barnes – Coxswain of Selsey Lifeboat.ISBN 0 907605 89 3
  15. ^ Lifeboat Gallantry RNLI medals and how they were won. Edited by:Barry Cox. Published:Spink, London, 1998. Page 310 – Leslie Pennycord – Coxswain of Selsey Lifeboat.ISBN 0 907605 89 3
  16. ^ Lifeboat Gallantry RNLI medals and how they were won. Edited by:Barry Cox. Published:Spink, London, 1998. Page 318 – Douglas Grant – Coxswain of Selsey Lifeboat.ISBN 0 907605 89 3
  17. ^ Lifeboat Gallantry RNLI medals and how they were won. Edited by:Barry Cox. Published:Spink, London, 1998. Page 367 – Mike Grant – Coxswain of Selsey Lifeboat.ISBN 0 907605 89 3
  18. ^ Lifeboat Gallantry RNLI medals and how they were won. Edited by:Barry Cox. Published:Spink, London, 1998. Page 380 – Mike Grant – Coxswain of Selsey Lifeboat.ISBN 0 907605 89 3
  19. ^ Lifeboat Gallantry RNLI medals and how they were won. Edited by:Barry Cox. Published:Spink, London, 1998. Page 380 – Dave Munday – Coxswain of Selsey Lifeboat.ISBN 0 907605 89 3