Fleetwood Lifeboat Station
Fleetwood has had a lifeboat station for more than 150 years, since 1859. There have been six incarnations in various places over the years.
The current purpose built premises opened in 2006. The modern building houses Fleetwood RNLI and HM Coastguard. To the rear of the building is the lifeboat launch facility, straight into the Wyre channel.
Inside there are various offices and a classroom, along with all the facilities for storing and maintaining the lifeboats.
Have you visited the excellent RNLI shop? It stocks a really good range of quality gifts and products. All of which help to raise vital funds for the charity which saves lives at sea.
An amazing group of volunteers staff the shop and keep it open. Pop in and take a look!
The RNLI relies entirely on donations from the public to function. Your generosity enables Fleetwood Lifeboat Station and over 300 others to operate around our shores. In 2015, it cost over £160 million pounds to keep our coastline safe.
Shop opening hours:
From Saturday 19 January
Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday from 11am-3pm
From Saturday 23 March
Seven days a week from 10am-4pm
Shop phone number – 01253 878050
The New Fleetwood Lifeboat
Costing over £2 million, the new Shannon Class all weather lifeboat replaced the Tyne Class lifeboat in 2016. The new vessel ensures the future of Fleetwood Lifeboat station for many years to come.
In the next clip see it sailing into the station, only a few days after its arrival in Fleetwood
It also recognises the importance of the work carried out by the volunteer crew. The crew has received 15 awards for gallantry over the years.
The new Shannon Class is the first lifeboat to use water jets, instead of propellers. It’s capable of reaching 25 knots, which is 50% faster than the ‘Tyne’ class lifeboat it replaced. The William Street had served the RNLI well, having been operational since 1989.
Read more about the arrival of the Kenneth James Pierpoint further down this page.
In addition, RNLI Fleetwood boasts a second inshore lifeboat, a ‘D’ class rib, named Mary Elizabeth Barnes. Inshore lifeboats have been used in Fleetwood since 1966. They’re the workhorses of the RNLI fleet.
50th Anniversary of Lifeboat Workhorses
The RNLI lifeboat workhorses, the ‘D’ class inshore lifeboats boats, have been saving lives for many years. May 2016 marks the 50th anniversary, since the first inshore lifeboat (ILB) arrived at Fleetwood RNLI.
The first ILB was unnamed, numbered No.91 and arrived for a summer season at the beginning of May, 1966. Since then, five more ILB’s, the latest named Mary Elizabeth Barnes, have been ‘on service’ at Fleetwood. They work alongside the larger all-weather lifeboat.
Their arrival in 1966 helped save the lives of around 120 people and they’ve been in almost 1,000 operations, in the past 50 years.
The ‘D’ class ILB’s have a crew of either two or three and reach speeds of 25 knots. It’s a vital asset to the volunteer lifeboat crew at Fleetwood, especially when rescuing bathers or walkers cut off by incoming tides.
Captain Dave Eccles, RNLI Fleetwood Lifeboat Operations Manager said ‘’ The introduction of the RNLI inshore lifeboat has ensured many more lives have been saved by the volunteer lifeboat crews, around our shores.’’
Find out More
Fleetwood Lifeboat Station, The Esplanade, Fleetwood, FY7 6DN
Tel: 01253 874000 (Dial 999 in an emergency)
Fleetwood RNLI say farewell to William Street
On 30th August 2016 the volunteer lifeboat crew said a sad farewell to their Tyne class lifeboat, William Street. After 27 years of active service she has been replaced by the Shannon class lifeboat, Kenneth James Pierpoint.
The lifeboat crew launched William Street at 8.30pm and went for one last trip up the Wyre channel. They were accompanied by the inshore lifeboat, Mary Elizabeth Barnes. She made her way to Fleetwood Marina to be lifted out of the water and taken to RNLI HQ in Poole, Dorset.
Fleetwood lifeboat Captain Dave Eccles said, ‘It’s obviously very sad to see her go, she’s got us out of some tight spots over the years. But she’s helped us saved lives for 27 years and now it’s time for her to step aside and let the new generation lifeboat, the Shannon class, take over’.
Fleetwood RNLI name new Lifeboat
23 July 2016 was a warm and sunny day at Fleetwood Marina. A perfect day for the new Shannon class Fleetwood RNLI lifeboat to be officially named, Kenneth James Pierpoint, number 13-14.
Wing Commander Paul Bell (below), from 605 Squadron, was present to hand over the lifeboat over to the RNLI, on behalf of the donors.
Charles Hunter-Pease OBE, Chairman of RNLI was hardly into his welcome speech, before the pagers went off and the inshore crew rushed off to a call out. A fitting reminder of the commitment the volunteer lifeboat crew give to the RNLI.
The large crowd, joined by High Sheriff of Lancashire, John Barnett OBE DL and Mayor of Wyre, Terry Rogers, were entertained by the Sea Cadets Old Boys Band.
Kenneth James Pierpoint was a Flight Officer with 605 Squadron when he crashed and was tragically killed in 1942. His sister, Kathleen, left a substantial legacy to the RNLI with a wish that a lifeboat be named after him. Following a service, led by Bishop of Lancaster, Right Reverend Geoffrey Pearson, Wing Commander Bell officially named the lifeboat and it was, as tradition has it, christened with champagne.
Captain David Eccles, Lifeboat Operations Manager for RNLI Fleetwood said, ‘This has been a fantastic weekend for Fleetwood lifeboat. The amount of support we receive from the public never fails to impress us. We are so grateful for the legacies, donations and good will we receive. Without them, our work would be impossible. We can’t thank them enough.’
Arrival of the new Shannon Class Lifeboat at Fleetwood Lifeboat Station
Sunday 26 June at 1pm
The Band & Corp of Drums of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (Lancashire) attended and played at the arrival of the new Shannon lifeboat. The ‘Kenneth James Pierpoint’ arrived by sea at 1.14pm on Sunday 26th June, at Fleetwood Lifeboat Station.
The current lifeboat, ‘William Street’ and the D class inshore lifeboat, ‘Mary Elizabeth Barnes’, met the new lifeboat at sea and escort her to her new home.
Thanks to Fleetwood TV for this video clip of the celebrations to welcome the new lifeboat to shore
Click on the image below to see a full album of photos from the event
Who is Fleetwood Lifeboat Named For?
The new ‘Shannon’ class lifeboat replaces the ‘Mersey’ class boat, the ‘’William Street’’.
The new lifeboat is named the ‘’Kenneth James Pierpoint’’. But who was Kenneth James Pierpoint ?
Born in Altrincham in 1922, Ken attended local schools before going on to study at Cambridge University. He gave up his degree course to join the Royal Air Force through the Volunteer Reserves. His aptitude for flying and commitment to the RAF, quickly earned him the rank of Pilot Officer. Plus a posting to 605 Squadron, based at RAF Ford, in Sussex, in August 1942. But his career was short lived as he was tragically killed, a few days after arriving at Ford, in a flying accident on the 28 August, 1942, aged just 20.
It was reported that whilst undergoing night flight practice in a Boston aircraft, Pilot Officer Pierpoint was dazzled by searchlights and crashed between Ford and Bognor Regis.
The RNLI’s benefactor Kathleen and the sister of Ken Pierpoint, was 15 at the time and lived with this tragic memory for a further 70 years. The RNLI and Fleetwood Lifeboat Station are very grateful to Kathleen that she chose to honour her brother and ensure his memory would live on for many years.
It is fitting that the motto of 605 RAF Reserve Squadron was ‘’NUNQUAM DORMIO’’, translated as ‘I never sleep’. It perfectly fits the lifeboat that will be named after him.
The RNLI is the charity that saves lives at sea.
In Fleetwood, fishing, boats, the seashore (with all it’s dangerous tides and channels) and all things nautical are embedded in the fabric of daily life. With it come dangers so the RNLI is a vital charity which many people would have been in serious trouble without.
Fleetwood Lifeboat has a crew of 25 volunteers who go out in the boats and answer emergency calls. They save lives and rescue people. It might be not much more than a minor skirmish with the water or a full blown, serious incident, which can and do claim lives.
Fleetwood RNLI has a separate Fundraising and events group. They raise money and awareness throughout the year, to support the work of the RNLI all over the UK.
Their fundraising is absolutely vital. The money pays for the equipment, boats, infrastructure, training, and much, much more, all of which enables the RNLI and lifeboats to operate.
While you’re here…
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