Donaghadee Lifeboat


1910 The RNLI established a lifeboat station. The first lifeboat William and Laura was kept at moorings in the harbour off the South Pier and the boathouse was located on the quayside.
1941 A Bronze Medal was awarded to Coxswain Samuel Nelson for rescuing seven crew from the steamship Coastville and nine crew from the steamer Hope Star in November and December 1940. Thanks of the Institution Inscribed on Vellum were awarded to Mechanic David Nelson and Bowman Alexander Nelson.
1949 Coxswain Andrew White retired after nearly 32 years as coxswain during which time over 80 lives were saved.
1953 A Bronze Medal and the British Empire Medal were awarded to Coxswain Hugh Nelson for the courage, skill and initiative shown during a service to the car ferry Princess Victoria which sank during a storm on 31 January. Donaghadee lifeboat saved 31 people but sadly 133 people died. Lifeboats from Portpatrick, Cloughey and Newcastle were also involved in the search for survivors.
1956 The lifeboat stood by the motor vessel Douglas from 17–19 July and was at sea for over 60 hours.
1957 Honorary Secretary DT McKibben awarded the MBE.
1981 A Framed Letter of Thanks was awarded to Coxswain/Assistant Mechanic James Bunting for rescuing three crew and saving the motor yacht Rosita, which went aground near the entrance to Copelands Marina.
1985 The Waveney class lifeboat was withdrawn and replaced by an Arun class lifeboat.
1991 Retiring Coxswain, Billy Lennon awarded the BEM.
1998 The boathouse was extended, providing improved crew facilities.
2002  Deputy Coxswain/Mechanic Thomas ‘Walker’ Simpson was awarded an MBE by Her Majesty The Queen.
2003  The Trent class lifeboat, ON-1267 Saxon, was placed on service.
2010 Donaghadee lifeboat celebrated it centenary, click here to find out more.

Station honours

At Donaghadee lifeboat station the following awards have been made:

  • Bronze Medal – 2
  • Framed Letter of Thanks – 1