Station History

Hastings Lifeboat Station was established in 1858 at the request of the local inhabitants after a wreck had occurred there with the loss of the whole crew of the vessel.

During the war of 1939-1945 the lifeboat was launched 48 times and rescued 21 lives.


Gold Medals awarded to Lieut John Prattent RN and Lieut Horatio James RN for the rescue of nine of the crew of the French lugger La Constance that was wrecked in a heavy gale and snow storm on 19 January 1830.


A new lifeboat house constructed at the eastern end of the Marine Parade at a cost of £650.


New lifeboat launched.  The carriage had 12 inch tyres and was fitted with launching poles, as apparently the horses did not work together.


Silver Medal awarded to Alfred Stonham for conspicuous bravery in swimming out and saving the Master of the fishing boat William and Maria that sank on 28 May 1904.


Harness sold as it was no longer required.


When the Prince of Wales visited Hastings to open the White Rock Pavilion and the New Promenade he went aboard the lifeboat.  Whilst at Hastings the Prince was made a member of the Winkle Club, being presented with a gold winkle by the oldest working fisherman.


The lifeboat Cyril and Lilian Bishop took part in the evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force from Dunkirk.


Bronze Medals awarded to Coxswain John E Muggeridge, who was in command of the lifeboat for the first time, and Motor Mechanic W R Hilder for the rescue of seven men from HM Trawler Caulonia that had been wrecked south of Jury’s Gap on 31 March 1943.  Heavy seas were breaking over her but the coxswain kept the lifeboat alongside her for half an hour until the seven men were safely aboard.  The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum accorded to Commander Highfield, the Honorary Secretary, Second Coxswain E F Adams and Bowman I F P White.  This was the outstanding service of the war.  A few days after he won this Medal, Coxswain Muggeridge lost his life when his fishing boat struck a mine and sank, and eight weeks later Motor Mechanic Hilder was killed in an air-raid.


Whilst on service on 17 November searching for a landing craft in a very rough sea, the lifeboat capsized and the coxswain and two other members of the crew were washed out of her but all three were rescued.


A stained glass window was dedicated in St Clements Church the extreme right-hand pane shows a fisherman in lifeboat oilskins and a kneeling woman beside a sailing boat.  The fisherman is ex-coxswain Ned Adams.


Coxswain A Muggeridge drowned when his own fishing boat was wrecked on 31 March.


Ladies Lifeboat Guild presented a Coastal Receiver Wireless Set for use in the lifeboat house.


Centenary Vellum awarded to station.


District Inspector injured at Centenary Service launch on 27 July, his right leg was broken when he was knocked down by the winch wire.


D class lifeboat sent to station in April.


Framed Letter of Thanks signed by the Chairman of the Institution, Captain the Hon V M Wyndham-Quin RN, sent to Motor Mechanic J H Martin and Police Sergeant S Ferguson, who manned the ILB on 17 August and rescued a man who was disappearing beneath the surface of the water.  The Royal Humane Society also awarded a Testimonial on Parchment combined with a Resuscitation Certificate to Police Sergeant Ferguson and a Resuscitation Certificate to Motor Mechanic J H Martin.


Framed Letters of Thanks signed by the Chairman of the Institution awarded to Motor Mechanic J H Martin and W Adams who manned the ILB on 25 June and rescued four people from two capsized sailing boats.


Framed Letters of Thanks signed by the Chairman of the Institution awarded to R Shoesmith, C Green and K Ronchetti crew of the ILB in recognition of their excellent seamanship and exceptionally sound judgement when assistance was given to a badly injured man who had fallen over the cliffs at Ecclesbourne Glen on 8 February.  Letters of Thanks signed by the Secretary of the Institution awarded to Coxswain/Mechanic, J Martin and Messrs B Foster, R White, F Davis, J Mitchell and R Taylor, for their help during this service when the ILB had to hauled up the cliff face.


Silver Medal awarded to Coxswain/Mechanic John Martin and Bronze Medal to Second Coxswain George White for the rescue of the crew of three of the motor fishing vessel Simon Peter that was in distress in a violent storm and very rough sea on 27 September 1974.  The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum accorded to the other members of the lifeboat crew.

Silver Medal awarded to Dr Peter Davy who broke seven ribs while being lifted into a helicopter from the lifeboat and, although in great pain, continued to go to the aid of an injured man on board the Argentinian warship Candido de Lasala on 23 December 1974.  Dr Davy also received a Gold Medal from the Argentinian Naval Authorities and a Bronze Medal from the Carnegie Hero Fund Trust.


Bronze Medal awarded to Coxswain/Mechanic John Martin in recognition of his courage, determination and seamanship when the lifeboat landed a sick crew member from the Irish container ship Bell Rover in a strong south by westerly gale and heavy breaking seas with poor visibility on 20 November 1984.

Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum accorded to Helmsman Christopher Cooper and crew members Graham Furness and Steven Martin in recognition of their determination when the D class inflatable lifeboat went close to rocks and rescued a boy who had been cut off by the tide on 29 June 1985.


Coxswain Mechanic J H Martin awarded BEM in New Year’s Honours List.


Boathouse was adapted to accommodate the new Mersey class lifeboat.


Oakley class lifeboat withdrawn and replaced by Mersey class lifeboat.


Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum was accorded to Assistant Mechanic David John Curtis, in recognition of his prompt actions, when he entered the water from the Hastings lifeboat Sealink Endeavour to assist in the rescue of the sole occupant of the yacht Ngalawa on 9 March.  He then volunteered to board the yacht in rough seas to secure a tow which enabled the Ngalawa to be pulled clear of the pier.  He remained on board the casualty whilst the lifeboat returned to Hastings with the survivor who was suffering from hypothermia during the long and uncomfortable tow.  Framed letter of Thanks signed by the Chairman awarded to Coxswain Fred White for his part in this service when he dealt with a number of problems in a calm manner that contributed to the successful outcome of this rescue.


New boathouse constructed.  It includes housing for the Mersey class lifeboat and launching tractor, housing for the D class lifeboat, a garage for the bulldozer, crew facilities, workshop, souvenir sales outlet, presentation/training room, public viewing galley and operations room.


New D class lifeboat D540 Cecile Rampton II was placed on service on 4 October.  This lifeboat was funded by Miss Yolande Rampton in memory of her mother.  D392 has been withdrawn to ILC Cowes.  The lifeboat was transported to Epsom in Surrey for the naming ceremony in the Autumn of 1999.


The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum accorded to Helmsman Simon Hodgson for a service by the D class inshore lifeboat on 26 November 2006 when a swimmer was saved from the sea.  The lifeboat was operating at the limit of its operational capability in heavy three metre high seas.  It took six approaches to recover the man, who was landed on the beach.  The sea conditions precluded any first aid being undertaken on the lifeboat.  Crew Member Sloane Phillips and Glenn Barry were each presented with a Framed Letter of Thanks signed by the Chairman of the Institution Admiral Sir Jock Slater in recognition of their team work during this service.  Sadly the man was later pronounced dead in hospital.

The Trustees voted that an Anniversary Vellum be awarded in 2008 to commemorate the stations 150th anniversary.


The new station IBI D class lifeboat D699 Daphne May was placed on service on 19 March.  Lifeboat D540 has been withdrawn.


Nine Medals have been awarded, two Gold, three Silver and four Bronze, the last being voted in 1985.