History of Poole Lifeboat Station: Pre-1865

Lifeboats at Poole have been launching into one of the largest natural harbours in the world for 150 years and the crews have been presented with 22 awards for gallantry. Today, the station has both an inshore lifeboat, launched from a floating boathouse, and an all-weather lifeboat.

Pre-1865

1824

The first ever Gold Medal was awarded to Captain Charles Howe Freemantle RN for his attempt to rescue the crew from a Swedish brigantine at Christchurch on 8 March 1824. This was awarded by the Royal National Institution for the Preservation of Life from Shipwreck (RNIPLS).

Silver Medals were awarded to George Barnes and Stephen Curtis for rescuing two crew from the Hero, which went aground off Christchurch Head on 23 November 1824.

1825

A Silver Medal was awarded to Lieut J Elwin RN for rescuing two crew from the ship Lark, which was driven ashore at Flag Head, Branksea Island, near Lymington [sic].

1826

Poole Lifeboat  (7)     A lifeboat station was established in Studland Bay to cover Poole Bay. The 20ft lifeboat cost £100 and was built by Pellew Plenty of Newbury. She was kept on a carriage in a boathouse 30 yards from high water mark. She had no name.

1837

Thomas Cook rescued two men from a canoe in January – he received a sovereign for this rescue.

1848

The lifeboat at Studland had never been used to save life and was ‘decayed and unfit’.

1853

A Silver Medal was awarded to Lieutenant T Parsons RN for the rescue by Coastguard galley of eight people from the barque William Glen Anderson, which was wrecked during a heavy gale on 27 December 1852 at Boscombe.

1854

RNLI flagThe Royal National Institution for the Preservation of Life from Shipwreck (RNIPLS) changed its name to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).