Gallantry at Sea on the Fylde Coast

Browsing a recently seen copy of ‘Lifeboat Gallantry’, by Barry Cox, based on earlier research of Major DV Henderson GM, I was struck by the number of entries associated with the Fylde Coast, specifically, the lifeboats of Lytham St Anne’s, Blackpool and Fleetwood.

My family has strong association with both the sea and Lifeboats on the Fylde Coast. My Great Grandfather was Coxswain at St Annes. My brother, a member of the Shore Crew at St Annes and my niece also trained on the St Annes Lifeboat. My wife and sister in law work in the shop at Blackpool Lifeboat Station. I penned a tribute to that family connection in my Blog at: https://fyldecoaster.wordpress.com/2015/04/18/the-mellings-a-lifeboat-connection/

This piece relies heavily on material received, with permission from Cox’s book. The book makes reference to 17 acts of gallantry by members of the Lifeboats Crews, which warranted Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) Medal Awards to 27 individuals up to 1998, with at least one member being awarded two medals and one, three.

‘Lifeboat in Tow’ taken from ‘Lifeboat Gallantry’ reproduced by kind permission of Spink & Son Ltd

 Newspaper reports, books and personal testimonies record the most spectacular incidents. The ‘Casualty’ boards in each of the stations, the commemorative plaques and monuments provides a clue to the remarkable and the mundane. As a simple guide, Blackpool Lifeboats are called out for around 100 ‘Shouts’ per year.

The ‘Lives Saved’ board at Blackpool Lifeboat Station

There’s been a lifeboat at St Annes and at Lytham since 1851, Fleetwood’s was established in 1859. Blackpool was a relative latecomer in 1864.

Cox’s book dates, describes and names the awards and the individuals and incidents, along with occasional photographs and illustrations. Like the book, in this piece, a timeline provides a recording framework. Download it below.

MPC
Nov 2020

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