Porthdinllaen Lifeboat

Gorsaf Bad Achub Porthdinllaen

Latest Shout

14th August 2016

At 10.55am Holyhead Coastguard requested that Porthdinllaen RNLI lifeboat should launch to assist a broken down pleasure craft.

The 20ft Bayliner type craft, called the Blue Moon, had two people on board and had suffered mechanical failure approximately 10 miles North of Porthdinllaen Point.
 
The Blue Moon, which had set off earlier in the morning from Portdinorwig for a leisurely fishing trip, had suffered a drive coupling failure on their inboard engine which was not repairable at sea. Weather conditions were sunny with calm seas and only a slight breeze.
 
Upon arrival, the volunteer lifeboat crew from Porthdinllaen passed over a tow line to the Blue Moon and upon arrival at Porthdinllaen Bay, the boat was placed on a safe mooring.
 
The lifeboat then returned to the boathouse and was refuelled and ready for service at 12.45pm.
 
Ken Fitzpatrick, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Porthdinllaen RNLI, said: 'The Blue Moon suffered an unavoidable breakdown due to the failure of the engine drive coupling and the only option was to request a tow back to Porthdinllaen.'

History of Porthdinllaen Lifeboat

 

The 19th Century was the age of the sailing ship, both deep sea and in coastal waters. An isolated region like the Lleyn Peninsula on the west coast of Wales was very dependant on shipping before road and rail transport became viable alternatives. Porthdinllaen, on the northern coast of the peninsula, with it's sheltered east facing bay, became important as a harbour of refuge and a busy port. Shipping returns for the period indicate the number of vessels which entered the bay.

1804 - 655

1840 - 914

1861 - 700 plus

With this volume of traffic it was inevitable that many vessels came to grief with considerable loss of life.

In a severe northerly gale on December 2nd and 3rd 1863, about 18 ships that had been sheltering in Porthdinllaen bay, were driven ashore and wrecked. A Robert Rees of Morfa Nefyn, tied a rope around his waist and, with the help of 4 other men, succeeded in saving a total of 28 lives from the various vessels. For his gallantry on that occasion, Robert Rees was awarded the Bronze Medal from the Board of Trade and the Thanks on Vellum by the R.N.L.I.

A few days later, the Rev. Owen Lloyd Williams of Boduan, wrote to R.N.L.I. headquarters in London reporting on the results of recent gales and asked for a lifeboat station to be established at Porthdinllaen. The R.N.L.I.'s inspector of lifeboats, a Captain J.R.Ward, visited the area the following February and recommended the forming of this lifeboat station, which was formally approved at a meeting of the Institutions Committee of Management on March 3rd 1864.

Estimates were invited for the building of a boathouse, together with a long stone launch way. On April 7th 1864 an estimate of £140 was accepted for the building of a boathouse and it was decided to alter the former Palling Lifeboat and re-allocate her to Porthdinllaen. The lifeboat had been built in 1858 as a 30ft x 7'6'', 10 oared self-righter, but was altered and lengthened to a 36ftx8ft, 12 oared self-righter at a cost of £198. This lifeboat arrived at Porthdinllaen on August 26th 1864, having been conveyed free-of-charge between London and Caernarfon by the 'London & North Western railway Co.' and then sailed south to Porthdinllaen.

The boat was provided out of a donation of £250 to the Institution from Lady Cotton Sheppard, being the third lifeboat to be donated by that Lady and, at a ceremony on September 9th 1864 the boat was formally christened 'Cotton Sheppard'. The Rev.John Hughes was appointed Honorary Secretary of the new station and Hugh Hughes became the first Coxswain.

Porthdinllean Lifeboat Coxswains

1864 HUGH HUGHES
1875 JOHN HUGHES
1880 HUGH DAVIES
1894 JOHN JONES
1904 WATKIN PARRY
1906 OWEN EVANS
1928 JOHN EVANS
1931 OWEN JONES
1933 WILLIAM HUGHES
1939 GRIFFITHS JONES
1948 FRANK FOALE
1956 THOMAS MOORE
1973 GRIFFITH JONES (BEM)
1989 CAPT PETER JONES
2003 MICHAEL DAVIES



Click on the links below for more information...

Boathouse History       Boat records       Crew Honours


Thanks to Tom Morris and Jeff Morris (author of the History of the Porthdinllaen Lifeboats) for their help and permission to reproduce some of the above text.

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