Southwold Lifeboat Station

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Southwold Lifeboat Station
RNLI Lifeboat Station
RNLI lifeboat Station, Southwold 14th June 2009 (1).JPG
Southwold Lifeboat Station.
Country England
County Suffolk
District Suffolk Coastal
Town Southwold
Location Southwold Lifeboat Station, Ferry Road, IP18 6NB

Southwold, Suffolk

 - coordinates 52°18′54″N 1°40′21″E / 52.31500°N 1.67250°E / 52.31500; 1.67250Coordinates: 52°18′54″N 1°40′21″E / 52.31500°N 1.67250°E / 52.31500; 1.67250
Founded 1851
Date 1993 Current boathouse
Owner Royal National Lifeboat Institution
Southwold Lifeboat Station is located in Suffolk
Southwold Lifeboat Station

Southwold Lifeboat Station is an RNLI operated lifeboat station located in the town of Southwold in the English county of Suffolk.[1]

The station operates an Atlantic 85-class lifeboat called Annie Tranmer which has an operational range of 25 miles (40 km).[2] The Atlantic 85 is the third generation Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB) in the B-class series. The lifeboat has a manually operated self-righting mechanism and can be beached in an emergency without sustaining damage to engines or steering gear. She is easy refloat and is ideal for rescues close to shore and on the sandbanks which are along the coast at Southwold.

The lifeboat is operated by a crew of around 18 volunteers.[3] Charity abseil events at Southwold lighthouse raised over £20,000 for the lifeboat in both 2009 and 2011.[3][2]


A lifeboat was first stationed in the town in 1841[3] with the first motorised boat being put into service in 1926.[4] The station's lifeboat, Mary Scott, took part in the Dunkirk evacuation in 1940. She was towed to Dunkirk by the paddle steamer Emperor of India together with two other small boats. Between them they took 160 men to their mother ship, then made a journey with 50 men to another transport vessel. She was abandoned on the beach, recovered and returned to service with the RNLI at Southwold.

An inshore lifeboat station equipped with a D class lifeboat was established in 1963. This was replaced by a B class Atlantic 21 lifeboat, Sole Bay, in 1973.[4]


The current boathouse was built in 1993 near the entrance to Southwold Harbour at the mouth of the River Blyth.[4] A winch and davit are used to launch the boat. These were repositioned in 2012 following essential repair work carried out to the harbour wall.[5][6]

The station covers an area of around 25 miles (40 km). Neighbouring lifeboat stations are located in Lowestoft and Aldeburgh along the North Sea coast.


All Weather lifeboats[edit]

No. 1 station[edit]

Dates in service Class ON Name
1841–1858 40ft Norfolk and Suffolk-class (Pulling & Sailing) Solebay
1858–1893 40ft Norfolk and Suffolk-class (Pulling & Sailing) ON 29 Harriett / London Coal Exchange No. 1
1893–1918 44ft Norfolk and Suffolk-class (Pulling & Sailing) ON 353 Alfred Corry
1918–1925 42ft Norfolk and Suffolk-class (Pulling & Sailing) Bolton
1925–1940 Norfolk and Suffolk-class (Motor) ON 691 Mary Scott

No. 2 station[edit]

Dates in service Class ON Name
1866–1920 33ft Self-righter Quiver No. 2

Inshore Lifeboats[edit]


Dates in service Class Op. No. Name
1963 D-class (RFD PB16) D-6 unnamed
1964 D-class (RFD PB16) D-25 unnamed
1965 D-class (RFD PB16) D-14 unnamed
1965–1970 D-class (RFD PB16) D-36 unnamed
1970–1973 D-class (RFD PB16) D-191 unnamed


Dates in service Class Op. No. Name
1973–1985 Atlantic 21-class B-518 Sole Bay
1985–1998 Atlantic 21-class B-562 The Quiver
1998–2013 Atlantic 75-class B-750 Leslie Tranmer
2013–present Atlantic 85-class B-868 Annie Tranmer


  1. ^ OS Explorer Map 231 – Southwold & Bungay. ISBN 978 0 319 23805 9.
  2. ^ a b Bernard’s Southwold lighthouse challenge, Lowestoft Journal, 2011-08-14. Retrieved 2013-01-04.
  3. ^ a b c Daring abseilers brave dizzying lighthouse heights, East Anglian Daily Times, 2011-08-15. Retrieved 2013-01-04.
  4. ^ a b c Southwold Lifeboat Station, RNLI. Retrieved 2013-01-04.
  5. ^ Lifeboat station faces closure, Eastern Daily Press, 2007-03-06. Retrieved 2013-01-04.
  6. ^ Southwold lifeboat crew to move back to permanent base, Eastern Daily Press, 2012-09-26. Retrieved 2013-01-04.

External links[edit]