Holyhead Lifeboat in the marina
Photo : Tim Snow

Holyhead Lifeboat

The first mention of a lifeboat at Holyhead is in 1825, nearly 200 years ago. The coastal town of Holyhead has had a lifeboat ever since.

The North West coast of Anglesey has always been a busy one as far as shipping, as ships past this rugged part of the coast en route to the port of Liverpool.

the holyhead lifeboat station during the 1920's

First lifeboat Station - Newry Beach

In 1855 the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) took over the running of the Holyhead lifeboat.

Three years later in 1858 the first lifeboat station was built on the shore at Newry beach which still stands today. Part of the original wooden frame for launching the lifeboat still remains today. This building is now jointly The Holyhead Maritime museum and The Harbourfront Bistro.

The Duke of Northumberland Lifeboat

In 1890 Holyhead lifeboat station took delivery of its first steam driven lifeboat, “The Duke of Northumberland” this was one of six that served with the RNLI.

In 1908 the lifeboat was called out to help with the rescue of crew members from the SS Harold which had anchored in Gogarth bay between North Stack and South Stack.

This lifeboat continued its service for another 21 years until it was retired in 1929

the former lifeboat station on salt island

New Lifeboat and Station on Salt Island

In 1929, Holyhead lifeboat station took delivery of its first motor powered Barnett Class lifeboat (ON717) named A.E.D.

In 1950, some 22 years later a new lifeboat station was built on Salt Island along with a new Barnett Class lifeboat (ON844) (Civil Service No. 9), apptley named St Cybi after a local Saint.

The St. Cybi lifeboat at Holyhead remained in service for a further 30 years until 1980 when the new larger Arun class lifeboat Hymen Winstone (ON 1086) Operational number 52-15 started its service at the station, it was moored in the harbour, but it would be fairly short lived.

Unfortunately due to the wash from the large passenger ferries travelling to and from Ireland the hull constructed from GRP (glass reinforced plastic) was damaged. As a temporary measure, a Waveney class lifeboat, (ON 1003) 44-004, Faithful Forrester, which has a steel hull was placed on service at the station.

Lifeboat Station Modified