Our History

  • 2010

    Chris Winzar appointed as the Coxswain of the Salcombe Lifeboat. (Originally Fleet Staff Coxswain).

  • 2008

    Letter of thanks from the Chairman, Andrew Freemantle, following the service to “Ice Prince” on 13 Jan, where her cargo had shifted and she was listing at 45°. She later sank in the English Channel. Naming Ceremony of the new Salcombe Lifeboat “The Baltic Exchange III”.

  • 2004

    Naming of the Salcombe ILB, “Joan Bate” and Opening of the New ILB Boathouse.

  • 2001

    Frank Smith retires as Coxswain, Marco Brimacombe takes over.

  • 1997

    A framed letter of Thanks signed by the Chairman, David Acland, presented to Coxswain Frank Smith following the rescue of coaster “Ina” 697 GRT and her crew of 7. Relief Lifeboat “The Mariners Friend” successfully towed “Ina” clear of Bolt Head where she had grounded in force 7-8 winds.

  • 1992

    New Lifeboat Station, including crew changing area, museum shop and training facilities opened by the Director Brian Miles at Unity House, Union Street, Salcombe.

  • 1992

    Bronze medal awarded to Coxswain Frank Smith, following the rescue of coaster “Janet C” 1159 GRT and her crew of 7. The “Baltic Exchange II” successfully towed “Janet C” clear of Start Point in force 8 onshore winds and violent seas.

  • 1983

    A framed letter of Thanks signed by the chairman, The Duke of Atholl, presented to coxswain Griffiths following the capsize of “The Baltic Exchange” in winds gusting force 11, near the Skerries Bank. The Lifeboat self-righted, recovered a crew member who had been swept overboard made Brixham. The casualties, 2 divers, were rescued by helicopter.

  • 1979

    The Thanks of ‘The Institution on Vellum’ accorded to coxswain Graham Griffiths for the rescue of 3 crew, in combined operation with rescue helicopter from coaster “Heye-P”.

  • 1943

    Bronze medal awarded to Coxswain Distin for the rescue of 11 persons from Admiralty salvage craft LC18 in distress on The Skerries, east of Start Point.

  • 1939

    Silver medal awarded to Coxswain Distin and seven bronze medals awarded to the crew for the rescue of 62 persons from the Dutch passenger ship “Tajandoen” sunk by enemy action. Included were survivors from the Belgian Steamer “Louis Sheid”, which had gone to the rescue of “Tajandoen” before running aground in atrocious conditions, in Bigbury Bay.

  • 1929

    Salcombe Lifeboat Station re-opened.

  • 1925

    Salcombe Lifeboat Station closed.

  • 1922

    Salcombe Lifeboat moved from South Sands to permanent mooring in harbour.

  • 1916

    October 27 Salcombe Lifeboat “William and Emma” capsized at Salcombe Harbour entrance drowning 13 of her crew of 15. The crew of the casualty, Plymouth schooner “Western Lass” which had gone ashore to the east of Prawle Point in a furious gale were rescued by the coastguard, but it was not possible to communicate with the lifeboat. One of the survivors from the lifeboat, Edwin Distin became coxswain of the replacement boat “Sarah Anne Holden” which arrived in April 1917. A new crew of 13 was readily available, in spite of the war.

  • 1869

    Lifeboat Station established at South Sands, Salcombe at a cost of £309 1.0s on land supplied by The Earl of Devon.

Salcombe Lifeboat Museum and Shop

A pictorial history, together with a stunning display of models of Salcombe’s Lifeboats made by local professional craftsman Malcolm Darch, may be viewed in Salcombe Lifeboat Centre and he is also responsible for the majority of the historical research and information contained herein. Visit the Museum and shop at the Lifeboat Station in Union Street, Salcombe.