Brighton Lifeboat Station

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Brighton Lifeboat Station
Flag of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.svg
Brighton Lifeboat Station.jpg
Brighton Lifeboat Station
(Now under re-development [1] )
East Sussex UK relief location map.jpg
Red pog.svg
Location of Brighton Lifeboat station
within East Sussex
General information
Type RNLI Lifeboat Station
Architectural style Steelframe Boathouse
with brick and block construction
Location Brighton Marina, East Sussex, BN2 5UF
Country England
Coordinates 50°48′39.6″N0°06′15.4″W / 50.811000°N 0.104278°W / 50.811000; -0.104278 Coordinates: 50°48′39.6″N0°06′15.4″W / 50.811000°N 0.104278°W / 50.811000; -0.104278
Opened 1825 - 1931
re-established in 1965
Owner Royal National Lifeboat Institution
Technical details
Material Concrete, brick, block and Steel

Brighton Lifeboat Station is an RNLI [2] station located in the town of Brighton in the English county of East Sussex in the United Kingdom. [3] The station currently operates as an inshore lifeboat station but was originally a station for an all-weather lifeboat, however this boat was withdrawn in 1931. [4] The original station was established in 1825. [4] The current lifeboat (2014) is the Atlantic 85 RNLB Random Harvest (ON 852)

Brighton Town on south coast of England

Brighton is a seaside resort on the south coast of England that is part of the city of Brighton and Hove, located 47 miles (76 km) south of London.

England Country in north-west Europe, part of the United Kingdom

England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north-northwest. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.

County Geographical and administrative region in some countries

A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposes, in certain modern nations. The term is derived from the Old French conté or cunté denoting a jurisdiction under the sovereignty of a count (earl) or a viscount. The modern French is comté, and its equivalents in other languages are contea, contado, comtat, condado, Grafschaft, graafschap, Gau, etc..



The station is located in the marina area of the town and is co-ordinated from HM Coastguards at Lee-on-Solent. [5] Being an inshore station, the majority of the station's services are within two miles [5] of the station, often to leisure boats or beach-goers who have got into difficulties. The station is, on average, called to service sixty [5] times a year. The present boathouse and station facilities were constructed and opened in 2000 at a cost of £299,775. [4]

Her Majestys Coastguard section of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency

Her Majesty's Coastguard (HMCG) is a section of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency responsible for the initiation and co-ordination of all maritime search and rescue (SAR) within the UK Maritime Search and Rescue Region. This includes the mobilisation, organisation and tasking of adequate resources to respond to persons either in distress at sea, or to persons at risk of injury or death on the cliffs or shoreline of the United Kingdom. It is also responsible for land based search and rescue helicopter operations from 2015.


The National Institution for the Preservation of Life from Shipwreck, the fore-runner of the RNLI, first opened a lifeboat station in Brighton in 1824. The lifeboat supplied to this inaugural service was kept in a cave close to the Chain Pier. This was the first time that a lifeboat had been housed in a cave in Britain and the service operated from here until 1837, following the construction of the great Madeira sea-wall and Madeira Drive [6] which had begun 1830. [7] In 1837 [8] the lifeboat was withdrawn from the town and it was not until 1858 that another station was opened in the town.

Royal Suspension Chain Pier

The Royal Suspension Chain Pier was the first major pier built in Brighton, England. Built in 1823, it was destroyed during a storm in 1896.

United Kingdom Country in Europe

The United Kingdom, officially the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland but more commonly known as the UK or Britain, is a sovereign country lying off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state‍—‌the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi), the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world. It is also the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.

The 1858 station

The town council provided an area on the beach for a new boathouse. [8] The site was opposite the Bedford Hotel close to the West Pier. [8] The station operated from this site until 1868 [8] when it was once again moved to a new location on the beach close by. In 1886 further improvements and alterations to the seafront in Brighton including the re-location of the station following the erection of groynes on the beach. The new station was located on the Western Esplanade, between the two piers, inside two of the spacious arches that were being constructed as part of the seafront re-developments at this time. Arch No. 109 [9] was used to house the RNLI’s lifeboat whilst 110 was used to store all the equipment. In arch No. 111 the town council operated their own lifeboat. The site was used continually until 1931 when the RNLI withdrew the all-weather boat from the town as a result of the nearby Shoreham being equipped with a new motor lifeboat. These arches are now occupied by Brighton Sailing Club [9] but there is a, now unreadable plaque, [9] on the wall between arches 109 & 110 records the Robert Raikes , [10] the first RNLI lifeboat of 1867. This lifeboat replaced the three lifeboats [10] which until 1867 had operated in the town. The lifeboat was named after Robert Raikes, the founder of the Sunday School movement, because this boats funding had come from a collection made by the towns Sunday School children who had collected £580 [10] towards its cost. On the back wall of one of the arches there still remains a large ring [9] anchored into the masonry. This was used to pull the lifeboat back into the arch.

Bedford Hotel (Brighton)

The Bedford Hotel is a hotel on the seafront in Brighton, England which has subsequently been renamed the Holiday Inn Brighton after becoming a part of the Holiday Inn business.

West Pier Grade I listed building in the United Kingdom

The West Pier is a pier in Brighton, England. It was designed by Eugenius Birch, opening in 1866 and closing in 1975. The pier was the first to be Grade I listed in Britain but has become increasingly derelict since closure.

Groyne rigid hydraulic structure

A groyne is a rigid hydraulic structure built from an ocean shore or from a bank that interrupts water flow and limits the movement of sediment. It is usually made out of wood, concrete or stone. In the ocean, groynes create beaches or prevent them being washed away by longshore drift. In a river, groynes slow down the process of erosion and prevent ice-jamming, which in turn aids navigation. Ocean groynes run generally perpendicular to the shore, extending from the upper foreshore or beach into the water. All of a groyne may be under water, in which case it is a submerged groyne. The areas between groups of groynes are groyne fields. Groynes are generally placed in groups. They are often used in tandem with seawalls. Groynes, however, may cause a shoreline to be perceived as unnatural.

Inshore Lifeboat

Following the withdrawal of cover in 1931 [8] the town had no lifeboats for 34 years until an Inshore lifeboat was sent to the town in 1965. This inflatable D-class boat was kept in an arch under the promenade to the east of the Palace Pier. The lifeboat was funded from donations made by the patrons of a public house in London called The Rising Sun. This lifeboat was withdrawn before the winter of 1974 and the station was closed in 1975. This closure was to be a temporary measure until work was completed on the new Brighton Marina where new lifeboat facilities were included in the plans. During 1977 the station remained open but was none operational and this time was spent on training the crew and staff ready for the station to become operational. In 1978 the station re-opened within the new marine development where a pontoon was provided for the RNLI at the cost of £10,000. [8] The stations inshore lifeboat was kept afloat, and did not become fully operational until 1979. The lifeboat now had a small shelter constructed alongside the pontoon which gave the new Atlantic 21 Lions International (B 539) some protection. Inside the shelter the lifeboat was housed on a slipway. In 1981 a more permanent boat house was constructed and a temporary shelter was installed on the nearby quayside to house the crew facilities. The station had the distinction of becoming the institute’s first floating lifeboat station. [8] In 1997 the station was provided with a larger Atlantic 75 lifeboat called Thelma Glossop (B 737). [11] The new lifeboat arrived on the station on 1 July of that year.

<i>D</i>-class lifeboat (IB1)

The D-class (IB1) lifeboats are inflatable boats serving in the UK's RNLI inshore lifeboat (ILB) fleet. Although they are known as the "IB1" at times, they are the latest development of the D-class lifeboat and as such are mainly referred to as a "D-class".

Brighton Marina marina situated in Brighton, England

Brighton Marina is an artificial marina situated in Brighton, England. It features a working harbour and residential housing alongside a variety of leisure, retail and commercial activities. The construction of the marina itself took place between 1971 and 1979, although developments within it have continued ever since. The marina covers an area of approximately 127 acres (0.51 km2).

<i>Atlantic 21</i>-class lifeboat Class of Rigid Inflatable Boat

The Atlantic 21 is part of the B-class of lifeboats that served the shores of the United Kingdom and Ireland as part of the RNLI inshore fleet. The Atlantic 21 was the first generation Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB), first developed at Atlantic College in South Wales.


In 1999 work began on the construction of new shore facilities for the station on the quayside within the marina. The work was completed in 2000 at a cost of £299.775. [12] In January 2014 the stations facilities were closed down and the station was moved to temporary accommodation a short distance away. The building (Picture in the Information Box) erected in 2000 was demolished as part of the £235 million [1] re-development and expansion of the Brighton marine. These plans include the building of a new station close to the old location. This new station will include enhanced facilities for the crew and a souvenir shop to help with the institutes fund raising activities Location Template


From the earliest days of lifeboat services at Brighton, numerous medals and other awards have been presented, [13] including -

Note: the three 1840 rescues were 22 saved from the brig Mary, schooner Sire John Seale and brig Offerton

Neighbouring Station Locations

Related Research Articles

Royal National Lifeboat Institution Maritime rescue organisation in the UK, Ireland, Channel Island and Isle of Man

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Walmer Lifeboat Station lifeboat station on the East coast of England in the UK

Walmer Lifeboat Station was established in 1830. Over two thousand ships are believed to have been wrecked on the Goodwin Sands, and the masts of several wrecks are visible from the shore at low tide. Hence there have always been two lifeboats located at the joined towns of Deal and Walmer along the coast opposite the sands.

Cromer Lifeboat Station

Cromer Lifeboat Station is an RNLI station located in the town of Cromer in the English county of Norfolk. The station operates two lifeboats - one for inshore work and the other for offshore work.

Wells-next-the-Sea Lifeboat Station lifeboat station in Norfolk, UK

Wells-next-the-Sea Lifeboat Station is an RNLI operated lifeboat station located in the town of Wells-next-the-Sea in the English county of Norfolk. The station operates both inshore and offshore lifeboats. The inshore boat is called Jane Ann III (D-661) and is a D-class (IB1) lifeboat, whilst the offshore boat is called Doris M, Mann of Ampthill, and is a Mersey class lifeboat. The station boathouse is located at the beach on the western side of Wells Harbour mouth.

Porthcawl Lifeboat Station

Porthcawl Lifeboat Station opened in 1860 and a boathouse was subsequently built on the promenade to house the lifeboat. This station was closed in 1902 when Porthcawl Dock was closed.

Weston-super-Mare Lifeboat Station lifeboat station in Somerset, UK

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St Ives Lifeboat Station lifeboat station in Cornwall

St Ives Lifeboat Station is the base for Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) search and rescue operations at St Ives, Cornwall in the United Kingdom. The first lifeboat was built for the town in 1840 and the present boathouse was opened in 1994. It operates a Shannon-class all weather boat (AWB) and a D-class (IB1) inshore lifeboat (ILB).

Weymouth Lifeboat Station lifeboat station on the South coast of England, UK

Weymouth Lifeboat Station is the base for Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) search and rescue operations at Weymouth in Dorset, England. The first lifeboat was stationed in the town in 1869. Since 2002 it has operated a Severn-class all-weather lifeboat (ALB) and an Atlantic 75 inshore lifeboat (ILB).

Cardigan Lifeboat Station lifeboat station on the West coast of Wales

Cardigan Lifeboat Station, at Poppit Sands, North Pembrokeshire, near Cardigan, Ceredigion, Wales, is a Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) lifeboat station opened in 1849. The station closed in 1932 but reopened in 1971 as an inshore lifeboat station.

Harwich Lifeboat Station

Harwich Lifeboat Station is an RNLI station located in the town of Harwich in the English county of Essex. The station is positioned on the southern side at the mouth of the River Orwell estuary. The station serves a particularly busy section of coastline with Harwich being a very busy ferry terminal. Across the estuary is the Port of Felixstowe which is the United Kingdom's busiest container port,. There is also a considerable amount of commercial traffic as well as a great number of pleasure craft using the area.

Skegness Lifeboat Station

Skegness Lifeboat Station is an RNLI operated lifeboat station located in the town of Skegness in the English county of Lincolnshire. The station is located on the south-east coast north of the Wash and south of the Humber Estuary. This area of the British coastline is characterised by many shoals and constantly changing sandbanks, many of which lie between the town and the East Dudgeon Lightship. The current station was built in 1990 and was the first in the British Isles built especially to house a Mersey-class lifeboat. The boathouse also accommodates an Inshore Lifeboat and a souvenir shop. There are currently two lifeboats stationed at Skegness (2013). They are the Inshore D-class Lifeboat RNLB Marie Theresa Bertha Barras (D-792) and the Shannon-class AWB RNL Joel and April Grunnill

Hayling Island Lifeboat Station lifeboat station on the South coast of England, UK

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Yarmouth Lifeboat Station

Yarmouth Lifeboat station is an RNLI station located in the town of Yarmouth in the English county the Isle of Wight in the United Kingdom. The station has been based in Yarmouth's harbour since 1924. Previously the station had been in Totland Bay, west of Yarmouth, until it was decided that the station need a motor lifeboat. The current Severn-class lifeboat is moored afloat and shore facilities are on the quayside in Yarmouth. The station covers the western Solent with its all weather lifeboat Eric and Susan Hiscock (Wanderer) (ON-1249) which has been on service at Yarmouth since 2001.

Shoreham Harbour Lifeboat Station

Shoreham Harbour Lifeboat Station is an RNLI station located in the town of Shoreham-by-Sea in the English county of West Sussex in the United Kingdom. It underwent extensive re-development in 2010 with a new purpose built boathall to accommodate its new Tamar-class all-weather lifeboat. It operates two lifeboats. The AWB lifeboat is called RNLB Enid Collett and the Inshore lifeboat is a D-class (IB1) called RNLB Barry Lazell (D-647).

Happisburgh Lifeboat Station lifeboat station on the East coast of England in the UK

Happisburgh Lifeboat Station is an RNLI Inshore lifeboat station close to the village of Happisburgh in the English county of Norfolk in the United Kingdom. Since 2003 the station boathouse has been re-located from the village to an area south called Cart Gap. This is because the beach below Happisburgh disappeared due to coastal erosion and the stations slipway and access was washed away. The original boathouse in the village is now used for training. There are currently two inshore lifeboats station at Happisburgh and they are an Atlantic 75-class inshore lifeboat called Friendly Forrester II (B-710) and a D-class inshore lifeboat called Spirit of Berkhamsted (D-607)

Eastbourne Lifeboat Station

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Calshot Lifeboat Station

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Aberystwyth Lifeboat Station

Aberystwyth Lifeboat Station is an RNLI lifeboat station in the coastal resort of Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, West Wales. It was established in 1861, but there has been a lifeboat serving the town since 1843.

Aberdovey Lifeboat Station

Aberdovey Lifeboat Station is an RNLI lifeboat station in the coastal village of Aberdovey, Gwynedd, West Wales, on the River Dovey (Dyfi) estuary in Cardigan Bay. It was established in 1853, but there has been a lifeboat serving the village since 1837.

Portishead Lifeboat Station

Portishead Lifeboat Station opened in 1995 as Portishead Lifeboat Trust, an independent lifeboat operating from Sugar Loaf Bay. It was adopted by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) in 2015 when a new lifeboat station was opened adjacent to Portishead Pier.


  1. 1 2 "Brighton RNLI relocates while bigger, better base is built". News about the re-location of the lifeboat station. The Argus © 2014. Retrieved 10 April 2014.
  2. "Brighton Lifeboat Station – RNLI website". Home page of the Brighton station. RNLI © 2014. Retrieved 28 March 2014.
  3. OS Explorer map 122: Brighton and Hove. Scale: 1:25 000. Publisher:Ordnance Survey – Southampton B2 edition. Publishing Date:2009. ISBN   978 0319240816
  4. 1 2 3 "Brighton Lifeboat – A Brief History". Reference to Historic Dates concerned with the station. Brighton Lifeboat Station © 2014. Retrieved 5 April 2014.
  5. 1 2 3 "A Little More About What We Do". Information about the workings of the station. Brighton Lifeboat Station © 2014. Retrieved 7 April 2014.
  6. A Guide to the Buildings of BRIGHTON. Author: Royal Institute of British Architects. Publisher: McMilllan Martin Ltd. Work: page 58 The Seaside, Reference to the development of Madeira Drive. ISBN   1869865030
  7. "History of Madeira Drive - Brighton". Details and history of Madeira Drive. This Brighton © 2014. Retrieved 8 April 2014.
  8. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 For Those In Peril – The Lifeboat Service of the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, Station by Station. Author: Leach, Nicholas. Publisher: Silver Link Publishing Ltd, First Issue 1999. Work:Part 2, South Coast of England – Eastbourne to Weston-super-Mare, Page 72, Brighton Lifeboat Station. ISBN   1 85794 129 2
  9. 1 2 3 4 "Brighton Sailing Club - History". References to the Lifeboat Station in the Arches. Brighton Sailing Club. Retrieved 7 April 2014.
  10. 1 2 3 "Lifeboats - First established in 1825". Information about the history of Brighton’s Lifeboats. Retrieved 7 April 2014.
  11. "B-class Atlantic 85 Production List". List of the RNLI fleet of B-class Atlantic 85 ILB including B-737. All rights reserved © 2014 NavyNuts. Retrieved 10 April 2014.
  12. "Brighton Lifeboat Station – RNLI website". Reference within the History tab on the home page. RNLI © 2014. Retrieved 28 March 2014.
  13. "RNLI Brighton - Our history" . Retrieved 21 November 2014.