Beaumaris has had a lifeboat for over 120 years, the first arriving in 1891 and the most recent the “B” class Atlantic 85 which is capable of 35 knots and covers from the easterly entrance of the Menai Strait by Penmon to the most western entrance by Llanddwyn Island.
This corner of Anglesey received its very first lifeboat in 1832 at Penmon Point, when the Anglesey Lifesaving Association was formed after a tragic maritime accident.
The Penmon lifeboat station was operational for nearly 83 years from 1832 to 1915, during that time it saved over 143 lives.
On the 18 August 1831, the Paddle Steamer Rothsay Castle ran aground on the Duchman bank on Traeth Lavan (Lavan sands) with a loss of 130 lives, only 23 survived.
First Lifeboat at Beaumaris
The first lifeboat at Beaumaris was in 1891, Tom and Jenny, ON271, built at a cost of £667. This was initially moored off Beaumaris pier. This station at Beaumaris would close some 4 years later when the lifeboat station at Penmon received one which was more powerful.
In 1911 a new lifeboat and launching slipway was constructed, at Tre-Castell point, Fryars bay at a cost of £5,204. In 1914 Beaumaris lifeboat station re-opened.
The lifeboat crew would have to run along a gantry to get to the boathouse which extended into the Menai Strait in order to allow the lifeboat to launch at low water.
In 1945 Beaumaris lifeboat station received its second lifeboat, the new motorised Watson Class lifeboat, Field Marshall and Mrs Smuts, ON846, built at a cost of £13,865,
The boat was the new motorised Watson Class lifeboat, Frederick Kitchen, ON621.
Beaumaris Inshore Lifeboat
The RNLI decided that Beaumaris would benefit from a “D” class inshore lifeboat, to cover more localised rescues rather than launching the big lifeboat.
In 1967 the Beaumaris inshore lifeboat station was built. This was funded by the first of three appeals by the then popular children’s program “Blue Peter” and aptly named “Blue Peter ll” D-127.
Atlantic 21 Lifeboat
In 1975 the children’s television program “Blue Peter” and its viewers came to the rescue again. Blue Peter launched an appeal to raise money for a new “B” class Atlantic 21 lifeboat.
This new faster lifeboat would replace the “D” class inshore lifeboat, and after 9 years service was retired in 1976.
In 1983 the Beaumaris lifeboat station was extended which allowed more room for the then Atlantic 21 lifeboat, and also improved facilities for the crew.
In 1985 the lifeboat station received the new Atlantic class B-563, which was also named Blue Peter ll. This lifeboat replaced the outgoing B-515. The cost of the lifeboat was kindly met again by the BBC Blue Peter Appeal.
During 1991, the lifeboat station at Beaumaris was extended allow the housing of the lifeboat and launching tractor, coupled in-line, and also an integral souvenir sales outlet.
Beaumaris Lifeboat Station at Fryars bay closed
The Greater London II (Civil Service No 30) was withdrawn from service and replaced with the Watson Class lifeboat, The Robert, ON955
On the 7 July 1991, The Robert lifeboat was withdrawn from service and the lifeboat shed at Fryars bay is dismantled after 80 years service.
In May 2000, the new current lifeboat station was completed and on the 4 May the new Atlantic B-768 started her service. This is the third and last boat named Blue Peter ll.
This lifeboat was provided by the viewers of the BBC children’s programme Blue Peter.
The new lifeboat was funded from the proceeds of The Pieces of Eight Appeal, November 1993.
Beaumaris Atlantic 85 Lifeboat
In January 2010, Beaumaris lifeboat station takes delivery of the new Atlantic 85 class lifeboat B-838 Annette Mary Liddington. Lifeboat B-768 has been withdrawn.
This lifeboat was provided by the generous bequest of Mr John Grover Liddington in memory of his mother and other donations to the Beaumaris Lifeboat Station Local Appeal.
Beaumaris lifeboat carries Olympic Torch
On 29 May 2012 the Beaumaris lifeboat Annette Mary Liddington carried the London Olympic torch from Beaumaris to Menai Bridge, the only occasion that the torch was taken on board a RNLI vessel during its journey around the UK.
Six Silver medals and one bronze medal have been awarded, the last being voted in 1982.
Beaumaris Lifeboat Station Address:
2 Boathouse, Beaumaris LL58 8BS Telephone: 01248 810260