Harwich Lifeboat Station
Station Awards and Memorable Dates

1821 The first lifeboat was placed at Harwich by the Essex Lifeboat Association and was used until 1826.

During the next 50 years 13 Silver Medals were awarded for rescues to the many shipwrecks off the coast:

1876 The RNLI established a lifeboat station and a boathouse was built on East Beach.

1881 Silver Medals were awarded to Assistant Coxswain William Britton and Captain St Vincent Nepean RN for saving seven people from the wreck of the steamer Ingerid. The lifeboat had to break through ice to get out of the harbour and then rowed for over eight hours before reaching the wreck.

1881 Crew Member William Wink tragically drowned when the lifeboat capsized during a service.

The new lifeboat was moored afloat near the pier.

1890 A second lifeboat station (No. 2) was established and a steam lifeboat was kept on moorings.

1893 A Silver Medal was awarded to Coxswain William Tyrrell for 'his long and gallant services in saving life from shipwreck'.

1912 The sailing lifeboat was withdrawn and the No. 1 lifeboat station closed.

1917 The steam lifeboat was used by the Admiralty during the First World War. The No. 2 station closed as the area was covered by the motor lifeboat station at Walton.

1965 The station was re-opened and an inshore lifeboat (ILB) station was established with a D class lifeboat.

1967 An all weather motor lifeboat was also placed on station.

1977 A new ILB boathouse was built on Halfpenny Pier.

1978 The D class lifeboat was withdrawn and replaced by a B class Atlantic 21 lifeboat.

1981 A Framed Letter of Thanks was awarded to Helmsman R Ramplin and Crew Members P Dawson and P Brand for the help given to the crew of the yacht "Dunkit" aground on Pye Sands.

1982 On 19 December two ferries, the "European Gateway" and the "Speedlink Vanguard", collided off Felixstowe. Several vessels went to their assistance and four Bronze Medals, five Framed Letters of Thanks and four Letters of Appreciation were awarded for this rescue.

1985 A Framed Letter of Thanks was awarded to the Coxswain and crew for escorting the Sealink ferry "Speedlink Vanguard" to sheltered waters in severe weather conditions.

1987 A Framed Letter of Thanks was awarded to the Coxswain and crew after a fire broke out on a 70ft ex-trawler Mary La in the River Orwell.

1993 An extension was built to the boathouse to provide a larger crew room.

1996 The Waveney class lifeboat was replaced with a Severn class lifeboat. The Albert Brown was the first of the RNLI's Severn class lifeboats to be placed on operational service.

2001 A Framed Letter of Thanks was presented to Second Coxswain Paul Smith for rescuing two people from the yacht "I Like It" on 6 September 2000. The lifeboat returned to Harwich 20 hours after launching.

2002 A boathouse was completed in April.

2003 The new Atlantic 75 lifeboat, Sure and Steadfast, was named on 18 May.

Station honours

At Harwich lifeboat station the following awards have been made:

Framed Letter of Thanks
Bronze Medal 4
Silver Medal 16