The lifeboat station at Ilfracombe welcomes visitors, being open most days throughout the summer and group visits can be arranged all year round.
We have had a lifeboat in Ilfracombe since 1828 with the first Lifeboat house constructed in 1866 at a cost of £180 and replaced in 1893 with one on the Pier at a cost of £360. In 1990 The boathouse was adapted to accommodate the new Mersey Class lifeboat – The Spirit of Derbyshire.
1996 saw a new boat house constructed in the Cove to house of the Mersey and D class lifeboats and launching tractor, it also contains improved crew facilities.
In 2015 Ilfracombe received the Shannon class of all-weather lifeboat ‘The Barry & Peggy High Foundation’, she’s the first modern all-weather lifeboat to be propelled by waterjets instead of traditional propellers, making her the most agile and manoeuvrable all-weather lifeboat yet
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and several inland lifeboat stations. The RNLI also has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches and operates a specialist flood rescue team.
The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service, tens of thousands of volunteers raise funds, give safety advice and help in their museums, shops and offices.