Tenby Lifeboat Station is situated on Castle Hill and its huge slipway has a centrepiece public viewing gallery so visitors can watch the spectacle of the launching RNLI lifeboat. Not only that but the old inshore lifeboat station at Castle Beach has recently been recommissioned once more and it, too, could be called upon in times of need. It’s all good news when it comes to Tenby’s lifesaving capabilities!
The Lifeboat Stations in Tenby have been saving lives at sea since 1852 and has one of the oldest lifeboat stations in Britain. The station was founded by a group of local fishermen who wanted a rescue team in place for those caught up in storms or accidents offshore. When you visit Tenby, you can embark on an adventure that starts at Tenby Harbour and explore the history of its first five boathouses.
Here you will find glimpses into a past where, in 1852, the Shipwrecked Fishermen and Mariners’ Benevolent Society stationed their 28-foot-long lifeboat against Harbour Wall’s beach. Step into another era when two years later RNLI took over responsibility for said nine boats – including Tenby’s one! And lastly, marvel today as you lay eyes on the current inshore lifeboat house; talk about fishing tales from ye olden days!
2. Castle Beach Lifeboat House
If you walk up the slope towards Castle Hill and down the slope to Castle Beach, on your left you’ll notice the recently recommissioned Tenby lifeboat station, the historical home of Tenby’s second lifeboat house- originally built in 1862 and demolished in 1895. A blue plaque helps commemorate this site and provides a reminder of its heritage and importance. The reconstructed 1895 boathouse was designed by W.T. Douglas with local limestone in rock-faced ashlar, making for an impressive structure even today!
3. The Old Lifeboat Station, Castle Hill
Retracing your steps back to Castle Square and turning right, follow the path around the Castle Hill. Here lies a beautiful relic of Tenby history – the Tenby Lifeboat Station. Formerly operational from 1905 to 2005, this structure was again designed by W.T. Douglas, Chief engineer of RNLI, who worked tirelessly alongside his team to bring it to full form. Throughout it’s hundred-year run, many renovations were done, such as in late 1970s when a galvanized steel substructure below was built and the slipway renewed! After it’s retirement in 2005, this Tenby Lifeboat Station was sold and transformed amazingly into a family home- which just goes to show that every memorable thing can turn into something even more beautiful! If you look closely you may have even seen its stunning conversion, get featured on Channel 4’s ‘Grand Designs’ programme – now how cool is that?
4. New Lifeboat Station, Castle Hill
The Tenby Lifeboat Station is an incredible sight for all to see. As you continue down the path, you can finally witness the current station and explore its many wonders. From learning about the history of the local Tenby branch to watching the lifeboat launch into action on select days, there is so much fun to be had here. Not only that, but you can take a part of your experience home with you thanks to the small shop located nearby offering souvenirs – all contributing funds towards the incredible work being done by this organisation.
5. Tenby Harbour Slipway Lifeboat House
Not many people know that there is a boat house on Tenby Harbour’s slipway that holds the smaller lifeboats. It is well worth a visit for those who want to get up close and personal with some of the equipment and vessels that can be found there.
One of the most dramatic rescues came ten years ago when three men were thrown off their boat ten miles out to sea during gale-force winds. After a ten-hour search, the lifeboat team found them alive and well. The story had made national news headlines, resulting in a wave of appreciation for the tireless work of the lifeboat crew.
The station also has plenty of stories involving pet rescues too. One such tale involves a small dog that was swept out to sea – but thanks to the crew members’ quick thinking, they could locate and rescue him with only minutes to spare!
Tenby Lifeboat Station is owned and operated by the RNLI charity – an organisation dedicated to saving lives at sea – and it plays an essential role in keeping local waters safe from danger. With their dedication, skill and courage, we are all grateful to have such an incredible team in place.
If you ever need assistance at sea, don’t hesitate to call the lifeboat station on 999, and they’ll be ready to launch within minutes.
The RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) is a charity dedicated to saving lives at sea around the coasts of Britain and Ireland since 1824. It has nearly 220 lifeboat stations across the UK and the Republic of Ireland, including Tenby Lifeboat Station located in Pembrokeshire on Wales’ southwestern coastline.
Lifeboat launches take place all year round, 24 hours a day – so no matter the time of day or weather, help will always be on hand if needed. Whether it’s a commercial vessel in distress or someone stuck out at sea after an accident, the tenacious crews here are ready and waiting to come to the rescue.
Tenby RNLI has been awarded many accolades over the years for its incredible work in saving lives at sea, and they continue to show its commitment today. If you ever find yourself in need of assistance at sea, don’t hesitate to call them on 999 – they’ll be ready to launch within minutes! Stay safe out there!
Thank you, Tenby Lifeboat Station, for all the lives you save and making such a significant contribution to our community. We truly appreciate your commitment to safety at sea!
Photo of Castle Beach Lifeboat House by Joseph Thomas