RNLI Blackpool Lifeboat Station
February 4, 2012 at 10:25 am
The Blackpool Lifeboat Station, property of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution is a charitable institution that has been part of Blackpool life since it’s foundation in 1864. The station is proud of its 146 year history, and has received eleven awards for the gallantry of its lifeboat crews during that time. The awards for gallantry are annual, and considering there are hundreds of clubs, for Blackpool Lifeboat Station to have received eleven is indication of the high standards there. The club welcomes visitors and is open to the public, who can come daily from 10am to 4pm. The stations are all staffed by volunteers, apart from a core, who rely on charitable donations. Blackpool Lifeboat Station history Lifeboat rescue stations began when there was a major shipwreck off the Isle of Man in 1824, and local personage, Sir William Hillary made a public appeal for help, to rescue struggling survivors who were out in the deep. Sir William lived in Douglas, overlooking a headland and a dangerous sea, and had witnessed dozens of fatal shipwrecks from his home, which distressed him. The Royal National Lifeboat Institution was born, and it wasn’t long before the main way of knowing when to rescue people, was from families living in and manning lighthouse lookout towers. Grace Darling, in 1834, was only 22 years old when she bravely rowed out into a stormy sea, with her father, William Darling, to rescue 18 people from the Forfashire ship, that had crashed into a rock after engine failure. Grace became a national heroine, and an icon for the lifeboat volunteers, proving that many hands save lives. It is the team spirit and co-operative nature of rescue, alongside bravery, that has helped to save over 139,000 lives from death at sea. The bravery of volunteers, who often go into seas that are dangerous, and need first aid to rescue passengers in distress, makes the support of the RNLI Blackpool Lifeboat Station an important feature of Blackpool life. They are part of the large volunteer force that man the tourist beaches, rescuing swimmers more these days than shipwrecks. The tides can be very unpredictable on Blackpool’s beaches, so they are kept very busy, year round. Their location, on the central promenade makes them easily accessible for a visit. Pop in and say hi to the Blackpool Lifeboat Station RNLI staff - you never know when you might need them.