Southport Lifeboat has a proud and dramatic history, the earliest service, crewed and organised by local fishermen, was saving lives 20 years before the formation of the RNLI.
In the 19th century Southportís coast was one of the busiest and most dangerous in the country, for more than 100 years the oar and sail driven boats saved countless lives.
The Mexico disaster of 1886, in which 14 crewmembers of Southport's Lifeboat and all 13 crewmembers of the St Anne's lifeboat died, whilst trying to rescue the crew of the stricken barque. This catastrophe remains the highest loss of life in Lifeboat history.
Over time the sandbanks shifted, and by the turn of the 20th century sail had giving way to steam. The Bog Hole channel at Southport Pier where the lifeboat was moored began to severly silt up. In 1925, the RNLI decided to withdraw it's lifeboat service from Southport.
In the 1980ís after a series of tragedies off our coast, bereaved relatives and local people campaigned to bring a rescue service back to the town. Amazingly, after only 14 months of the idea being first mooted, the dream was realized. One hundred and eighty years on, Southport once again had an Independent Lifeboat, paid for with your donations, crewed, and run by the people of Southport.
The crew, all unpaid dedicated volunteers, are immensely proud of their lifeboats history. The new service has helped rescue over 100 people, and three crew members have received bravery awards from the Shipwreck and Humane Society. The spirit and heroism and dedication of the 19th century lifeboat men lives on in the present day crew.
Warriors of the Sea