Learn About Sidmouth Lifeboat

The history of Sidmouth Lifeboat dates back to 1869. At that time, Sidmouth was home to an RNLI Station, which was situated across the road from the current Boathouse. The engraved keystone can still be seen today, having been incorporated into the new block of flats built on the site. However in 1912, the RNLI service was withdrawn, following a decline in general activities in and around Sidmouth at the time.

Sidmouth Lifeboat as we know it today really began its journey in 1968, when a group of students from the local secondary school formed a Surf Life Saving Organisation. The organisation initially ran beach patrols covering Jacob’s Ladder Beach during the weekends in summer time. The first HQ was located at the Clock Tower above Jacob’s Ladder Beach.

In 1972, the level of cover provided was greatly increased, following the purchase of a prototype 16 foot Atlantic Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB) for running day time patrols and surf rescue. In the late 1970s, the level of cover was increased to include evenings and weekends and eventually, through the purchase of a pager system, to 24 hour cover.

A few decades, boats and crew members later, and Sidmouth Lifeboat today is a 25-strong team of boat, shore and tractor crew, with more than 20 support team members, two boats, two tractors and a seasonal lifeguard service. Sidmouth Lifeboat remains a fully self-funded independent lifeboat and covers an area of approximately 150 square miles of sea between Axmouth and Budleigh Salterton.

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