Reproduced from the official station history from R.N.L.I. headquarters, Poole.

In 1852 the Shipwrecked Fishermen and Mariner’s Society placed a lifeboat at Rhyl which capsized in 1853 with the loss of six of her crew. The boat was replaced with another, which was found unsuitable ,and this was handed over to the Institutition when the station was taken over in 1854.

In 1856 the Institution sent a tubular lifeboat to the station. In 1878 a No.2 station was established with a self-righting lifeboat, but this was closed in 1899.

Caroline RichardsonCaroline Richardson. The “Caroline Richardson” lifeboat, on station 1897-1939 was the 3rd in Rhyl and last of the tubular lifeboats (known as the “banana boat, because of it’s unusual shape-that of 2 banana-shaped hulls, meeting at each end, with a grating in between ).The boat had great stability, but meant severe exposure to the crew, often meaning they were soaked to the skin before the boat was out of the surfline.

In 1853 the Committee of management voted £10 10s 0d (£10.50) to the local fund for the aid of relatives of the 6 men drowned when the boat capsized that year.

In 1871 the local committee purchased 6 horse cloths for the use of the horses who pulled the boat on launching.

In 1897 a new boathouse was constructed at £720 and a short slipway was erected on piles. (Compare this with the £0.5 million for the 2001boathouse).

In 1899 the no.2 station was closed

In 1932 2 men were washed out of the boat whilst on service, but were rescued after a short time.

In 1952 the station was awarded a centenary vellum.

In 1955 the old timber boathouse was demolished and replaced with a new concrete and brick boathouse, demolished in 2001.Total cost was £9000.00.

Anthony Robert MarshallAnthony Robert Marshall. In 1962 the first service to a hovercraft by a lifeboat took place on 17th September, in a north-westerly gale, and heavy breaking seas. There was actually water in the boathouse as the boat launched. 3 crew members were rescued by the lifeboat, minutes before it crashed into the sea wall, with 250 gallons (over 1200 litres) of fuel on board. Shore helpers also risked their lives by securing the hovercraft to the promenade railings. Coxswain Harold Campini was awarded the Institution’s Silver medal for gallantry for this service. Crew members received individual vellum certificates, the shore helpers were also given framed letters of thanks, and the station was awarded a special letter of appreciation.

In 1965 the “Anthony Robert Marshall” was re-engined with 32h.p. diesel engines, increasing the performance drastically.

In 1967 a new “D” class ILB was sent to the station to augment the Offshore boat, due to the increased demand for a small fast boat to work on the sandbanks and narrow gutters. It was ideal for the job.

In 1969 the Liverpool class lifeboat “Anthony Robert Marshall” was replaced by the Oakley class lifeboat “Har-Lil”. The lifeboat was donated from a legacy of Miss Jeannie B Watts of Newton Mearns, Renfrewshire, in memory of her parents Harry and Lilly – Hence the name.

Har-LilHar-Lil , presently being rebuilt at South Ferriby on the River Humber 2016.




In 1973 the bronze medal for gallantry was awarded to Helmsman Don Archer-Jones for the courage and seamanship he displayed when the ILB rescued 2 boys cut off by the tide, and clinging to a perch marking the sewer outfall between Rhyl and Prestatyn, in a gale force westerly wind and a rough sea on 7th August. Crew member Paul Frost was awarded a medal service certificate.

In 1974 ,Don also received the thanks of the Institution on vellum, together with Jimmy Quinn and Richard Perrin, for the courage and determination displayed when the ILB rescued a climber on the Little Orme Llandudno, the Llandudno ILB being damaged whilst attempting to rescue the climber.

In 1990,the station was awarded a special framed certificate of thanks for the services carried out by the crews between 26th February and 2nd March, when the towns of Towyn and Kinmel Bay suffered severe flooding of up to 2 metres. Crews were utilised for up to 19 hours each day, a total of 71 hours were spent in the area, eventually taking over 200 people to safety. In all, crews from Rhyl, Llandudno and Flint, rescued over 600 persons (and a few birds/dogs/cats, etc!)

In 1992 The station boat “Mary Gabriel”, previously station boat at Hoylake, was badly damaged on service to the beam trawler “Columbus”. The boat was taken by road to Poole, beyond repair, but has since been rebuilt and is now in the national Lifeboat museum at Chatham in Kent. Also in 1992,the new Mersey class All-Weather lifeboat “Lil Cunningham” was put on station.

1995 New D class lifeboat D485 was placed on service on 12 July.

2001 A Framed Letter of Thanks signed by the Chairman of the Institution awarded to Mechanic Martin Jones. On the evening of 24 February 2001 the all weather lifeboat went to the aid of the Dragonfly, a large motor boat driven ashore in heavy surf at Splash Point. Mr Jones transferred to the in shore lifeboat and attempted to take a tow over a sand bank through heavy surf to the motor boat. This was unsuccessful but the inshore lifeboat saved the four men from the Dragonfly and got them safely to shore. The entire service was conducted in heavy surf and north-easterly force 6/7 winds. Everyone else involved at the station, including the Lifeboat Operations Manager (LOM), the rest of both lifeboat crews, and the shore crews received a collective letter of commendation from the Operation Director for their actions in launching the lifeboats and the treatment of the rescued men.

On 28 November 2001 the Committee of Management voted the award of a Vellum to Rhyl to commemorate the completion of 150 years as a lifeboat station in 2002.

2002 The RNLI’s President, HRH The Duke of Kent presented the Station with an Anniversary Vellum to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Rhyl lifeboat. The Duke also performed the opening ceremony the new boathouse.

2004 The new class of lifeboat IB1, D632 Godfrey & Desmond Nall was placed on service on Thursday 21 October. D485 was withdrawn .

2008 Her Majesty The Queen, in the recent New Years Honours, honoured Mrs Jean Frost, Manageress of the Rhyl Lifeboat Souvenir Shop, for services to maritime safety. The award was Member, Order of the British Empire (MBE)

2010 Her Majesty The Queen, honoured crew member Paul Frost in her Birthday List by awarding him a Member, Order of the British Empire (MBE).

2014 The new D class lifeboat D-770 Mary Maxwell, funded by the generous bequest of Mr Cyril Maxwell Jones, was placed on service on 12 August 2014. Lifeboat D-632 Godfrey & Desmond Nall was withdrawn.

2016 Her Majesty The Queen, honoured Coxswain Martin Jones in her New Year Honours List by awarding him a Member, Order of the British Empire (MBE).

2017 June. The station celebrated 25 years on station of the All-weather Mersey-class lifeboat “Lil Cunningham”, and also having a D-class inshore lifeboat on station for 50 years.

2,A Second station was established in 1878 and closed in 1899,,,,
3,JANE DALTON,1878-1888,14,15,
4,JANE MARTIN (FIRST SELF-RIGHTER),1888-1899,7,0,166
5,Station closed 1899,,,,
6,Present station (Rhyl no.1)-records commence 1856,,,,
8,MORGAN (FIRST TUBULAR LIFEBOAT),1856-1893,26,32,70
10,CAROLINE RICHARDSON (TUBULAR),1893-1897,0,0,287
11,a 2nd CAROLINE RICHARDSON,1897-1939,17,10,398
12,GORDON WARREN (SURF LIFEBOAT),1939-1949,35,5,835
14,TEMPORARY STATION BOATS,1949-1968,17,31,
15,HAR-LIL (OAKLEY CLASS-SELF RIGHTING),1968-1990,104,28,993
19,LIL CUNNINGHAM (MERSEY),1992-TO DATE,see service page,,1183