Southport U3A

Southport Lifeboat – Local History 2

Southport Lifeboat station and members of Local History 2

On 23rd February Local History Group 2 visited Southport Lifeboat Station

Inside the beautiful building we were greeted with beautiful views over the sea and sand, plus a welcome tea/coffee and biscuits. 

We learnt that Southport Lifeboat is entirely separate from RNLI, who withdrew from Southport in 1925 due to shifting sands and silting, which made a lifeboat service unviable at the time.

In the 1980’s after a series of tragedies off the Southport Coast,  bereaved relatives, led by Kath Wilson, and local people campaigned and fundraised to bring a rescue service back to Southport.  This was achieved incredibly in only 14 months. 

Our talk and tour took place in the light and airy new building, for which £1,000,000 was raised.

We learnt about the Mexico Disaster and how Southport’s coast was one of the busiest and dangerous in the19th century. 

One question answered, ‘Was how the Lifeboats are launched in the sea?’ in  Southport’s sandy and muddy beaches. The answer, of course, is adapted tractors and trucks which tow them to a suitable distance and release the lifeboat when the sea is deep enough.

After the lecture we toured the actual Lifeboat Station, where everything is kept in pristine order by the many volunteers. We had the opportunity to look at the clothing the volunteer crew wear in a rescue. The suits were remarkably heavy, as was the rather ghoulish ‘dead weight training body’. 

It is remarkable to think that this amazing operation is run solely by volunteers and receives no grants, and has to fundraise to keep the service operational.

Since the 1980’s the service has saved 500 people, and three crew members have received bravery awards.

If you want to support Southport Lifeboat Service, visit their Charity Shop in Everton Road, which funds a large part of the day to day expenses. Or visit during its’ next open days on 15th/16th April.

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Southport Lifeboat station and members of Local History 2
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20240223_144955 20240223_121344 20240223_101042 20240223_115244 Southport Lifeboat station and members of Local History 2 20240223_114829
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