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St Ives Lifeboat Station
St Ives Lifeboat Station (spot the RNLI flag) Photo by Geof Sheppard

St Ives has had a lifeboat manned by local volunteers since 1840. Originally the service was carried out using a locally built boat called Hope but, in 1861, the RNLI started providing both the lifeboat and a new boathouse in Island Road. This was replaced by a new boathouse built on Market Strand in 1867. In 1911 the Market Strand boathouse was rebuilt on the quay.
The early lifeboats were propelled by oars and sail. They were hauled into the water by teams of local men.
The first motor lifeboat at St Ives was placed on service in 1938. On 31st January 1938 the lifeboat was capsised by the heavy sea with the loss of five out of 23 crew that had just been rescued. This was the first time a motor lifeboat had capsized. Almost a year later the lifeboat capsized three times in a violent gale with the loss of seven of the eight crewmen. Within 12 months two lifeboats and 12 lives had been lost – the worst such event in RNLI history.

In 1964 an inshore lifeboat (ILB) station was permanently established at St Ives.
In 1968 the Offshore Lifeboat was supplemented by the provision of an Inshore Lifeboat. Currently this is a D Class provided by the British Army, appropriately named The Spirit of the Royal Corp of Transport.
In 1994 a new boathouse and slipway were built for the station's Mersey class lifeboat, launching tractor, and ILB, providing a workshop, souvenir sales outlet and crew facilities.
In 1997 the new D Class lifeboat, D-515 Spirit of the RTC, was placed on service to be replaced in 2007 by another D Class lifeboat Colin Bramley Parker.

From 1990 until 14th November 2015 the Mersey class all weather lifeboat 12-009 (ON1167), HRH The Princess Royal, (Civil Service No 41) was on station.

On 14th November 2015 the Shannon class all-weather fast carriage boat 13-11 (ON1318) Nora Stachura took over.

See the full history of the lifeboats stationed at St Ives.

St Ives AWB & ALB searching off Godrevy   St Ives AWB volunteer crew searching for missing swimmer off Godrevy in a heavy swell
(Left) The St Ives All Weather and Inshore Lifeboats searching off Godrevy in July 2009. Photo Credit RNLI/Phil Drew
(Right) The St Ives All Weather Lifeboat crew searching for a missing swimmer off Godrevy in July 2009 Photo Credit RNLI/Phil Drew

The Princess Royal - St Ives Lifeboat
St.Ives lifeboat, The Princess Royal 12-009, was launched after HM Queen Elizabeth II had visited the St Ives lifeboat station on 17th May 2013.

Station Address: St Ives lifeboat station, Lifeboat House, Wharf Road, St Ives TR26 1LF
Station Tel: 01736 796422
Station Opening Times: Normally open during the summer months on weekdays only.
Visitor Contact Derek Hall (Tel: 01736 794686)
Shop Opening Times: Spring, Summer and Autumn - 11:00am to 4:00pm (Monday to Saturday). Closed the first week of November. Second week of November to 24th March - Tuesdays and Thursdays only
Shop Tel: 01736 798804

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24th August 2012
The volunteer crew of the St Ives all-weather lifeboat, HRH The Princess Royal, spent a whole day at sea, at times in rough conditions, to assist a 24m (75ft) Newlyn beam trawler, the Sarah Louise, which had broken down 40 miles off St Ives.
Launching at 6:30am, the lifeboat was on scene at 9:15am as weather conditions deteriorated, and towed the boat through force 6 to force 7 headwinds and rough seas for six hours, covering 12 miles.
At 3:15pm, by which time the weather had calmed considerably, the tow was handed over to the relief Sennen lifeboat, the Victor Freeman, which towed the vessel a further 10 miles in three and a half hours, before handing the tow over to the Sarah Louise's sister ship the Elizabeth N. The Sarah Louise was finally towed into Newlyn Harbour at 7:00am (on 25th) by the Penlee lifeboat, the Ivan Ellen.

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