St Ives Lifeboats: The RNLI Station
St Ives Lifeboats RNLI Station, providing sea and inland safety for locals and tourists for over 170 years.
On your visit to St Ives you will no doubt walk along the busy Wharf Road home to shops, inns and art galleries. And you will also no doubt see and smell the ocean, perhaps you’ll dip your toes in it or swim or surf.
How are the two areas connected?
The St Ives Lifeboat station. A gateway from terra firma to the sea, it stands proudly at the end of the West Pier, manned 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for over 170 years.
It houses two lifeboats, one a £2.1 million all-weather boat named Nora Stachura, Nora Stachura was a lady whose legacy paid for the purchase of this Shannon – Class, beach launchable lifeboat.
St Ives is the first station in Cornwall to receive this type of lifeboat, which says a lot about the need for high technology rapid emergency responses in and around the county.
Capable of 25 knots and powered by water jets she can achieve high speed, be used in any weather and will turn herself back over if she capsizes. Things have moved on since the days of paddling out to assist those in need.
The other is an inshore lifeboat called Donald Dean, it has its own mobile launch and recovery system with a top speed of 25 knots and fuel capacity to operate for 3 hours at maximum speed. She comes into her own in searches and rescues in the surf, shallow waters and confined locations, so important for Cornwall and it’s rugged coastline of caves and rock pools.
The St Ives Lifeboat Skipper Family Tradition
The RNLI is a charity that saves lives at sea as well as inland, at times of flood. There’s been a lifeboat station at St Ives since 1840 and one local family, in particular, holds a tradition of coxswain (pronounced Coxon!) or skipper of the lifeboat.
The Cocking family name is synonymous with the St Ives lifeboats, and Rob Cocking has followed in the footsteps of his great-grandfather, father and brother as coxswain. All of which would have trained at the dedicated lifeboat college in Poole.
The crew come from all walks of life but share one thing, they are on hand always to drop everything and rescue lives. So enjoy the water in the safest ways possible even though the lifeboat crew are there for us all they’d much rather they didn’t have to meet us. You can discover tips on how to be safe in the sea here: https://rnli.org/safety
The Lifeboat Station opens up to the public from April onwards and holds an annual fundraising event in August, where there is lots of fun to be had.
Check their website for further news. Inside the station, you can have a close-up view of the boats and digest the many years of history all around the station.
A great way to get some new perspectives and understanding of St.Ives relationship with the sea, its people and community spirit.
St Ives RNLI shop is located next to the lifeboat station and open from mid- February through to December but is dependent on the help of volunteers, so these times could change.
Planning to visit St Ives or its surroundings?
Don’t forget to check out our handpicked selection of Holiday Cottages in St Ives and surrounding areas.