Although lifeboats were stationed on the Tyne from the early 1700’s, the RNLI established a station on the Tyne at Tynemouth Haven in 1862 and thanks to Chris Lambert, our much-missed historian, Deputy Launching Authority and friend, we have a record of the lifeboats that were stationed here by the RNLI. Chris also painstakingly drew the line drawings shown here.

The offshore lifeboats of Tynemouth

Constance, the first Tynemouth RNLI lifeboat

CONSTANCE 1862 – 1875 : Standard Peake / Prowse Self-Righting Type.
33’00 long by 8’01 wide, weight 2 tons 10 cwt, 10 oars.
Built in fir by Forrestt.
Cost £210 : paid for by Mr.C.J.Fenwick of Seaton Burn.
Stationed at Tynemouth No.1 station, Prior’s Haven.
Launched 20 times, saving 23 lives.
Damaged in rescue attempt from SS Stanley in November 1864, two crew drowned.
Declared unserviceable in 1874.

POMFRET & GOOLE 1865 - 1872

POMFRET & GOOLE 1865 – 1872 : Standard Prowse Medium Self-Righting Type.
32’00 long by 7’06 wide, weight 2 tons 0 cwt, 10 oars.
Built in mahogany by Forrestt.
Cost £248, paid for by the Pomfret and Goole Lifeboat Fund
Stationed at Tynemouth No.2 station, Black Middens.
Launched 11 times, saving 17 lives.
1874 : Refurbished at the expense of Lady Vivian of Beaumaris.
1874 – 1884 : Transferred to Moelfre, launched 7 times, saving 12 lives.
Broken up in 1884.

FORESTER 1872 - 1900FORESTER 1872 – 1900 : Standard Peake / Prowse Self-Righting Type.
33’00 long by 8’01 wide, weight 3 tons 4 cwt, 10 oars.
Built by Forrestt of Limehouse.
RNLI Official Number 216.
Cost £278, paid for by the Ancient Order of Foresters.
Stationed at Tynemouth No.2 station, Black Middens.
Launched 23 times, saving 19 lives.
Sold out of service in 1900.

CHARLES DIBDIN (Civil Service No.2) 1875 - 1888CHARLES DIBDIN (Civil Service No.2) 1875 – 1888 : Standard 37’00 Self-Righting Type.
37’00 long by 9’00 wide, weight unknown, 12 oars.
Built by Woolfe.
Cost £ 433, paid for by the Civil Service Lifeboat Fund.
Stationed at Tynemouth No.1 station, Prior’s Haven.
Launched 6 times to save 18 lives.
Retired to London in 1888.

CHARLES DIBDIN (Civil Service No.2) 1888 - 1905CHARLES DIBDIN (Civil Service No.2) 1888 – 1905 : Standard 37’00 Self-Righting Type.
37’00 long by 8’00 wide, weight 3 tons 18 cwt, 12 oars
Built by Henderson as builder’s No. HE604.
RNLI Official Number 204.
Cost £495, paid for by the Civil Service Lifeboat Fund.
Stationed at Tynemouth No.1 station, Prior’s Haven.
Launched once without saving life.
Sold out of service in 1905 when Tynemouth No.1 station was closed down.

Tynemouth-lifeboat-ForesterFORESTER 1900 – 1905 : 34 ft Dungeness Self-Righting Type, of special lightweight design.
34’00 long by 8’00 wide, weight 2 tons 6 cwt, 10 oars.
Built by the Thames Ironworks as builder’s No. TI 61.
RNLI Official Number 455.
Cost £712, paid for by the Ancient Order of Foresters.
Stationed at Tynemouth No.2 station, Black Middens.
Launched 4 times without saving life.
1907 – 1920 : Transferred to the Reserve Fleet, launched 39 times, saving 98 lives.
Sold out of service in 1920.

J.McCONNELL HUSSEY 1905 - 1911J.McCONNELL HUSSEY 1905 – 1911 : The First Motor Lifeboat in the RNLI.
38’00 long by 8’00 wide, weight 4 tons 8 cwt, 1 – 11 bhp Fay & Bowen petrol engine.
Built in 1894 as a 12 oar standard self righting pulling boat by Wm.T. Ellis of Lowestoft as builder’s No. E6, motorised in 1903.
RNLI Official Number 343.
Cost £418, paid for by Miss Curling of Denmark Hill.
1894 – 1903 : Stationed at Folkestone, before conversion.
Launched 5 times, saving 11 lives.
1905 – 1911 : Transferred to Tynemouth, launched 9 times to save 8 lives. Major H.E.Burton, R.E., of Clifford’s Fort was appointed Mechanical Superintendent of the boat. The local lifeboat crews would have nothing to do with the boat, preferring their old pulling and sailing boats, so the her first rescues were carried out with Major Burton as coxswain and a crew of militiamen from Clifford’s Fort. Launched 9 times, saving 8 lives.
1911 – 1914 : Transferred to Sunderland, launched 6 times, saving 3 lives.
Sold out of service in 1914.

HENRY VERNON 1911 - 1918HENRY VERNON 1911 – 1918 : 40 ft Single Engined Self-Righting Type.
40’00 long by 10’06 wide, : weight 10 tons 18 cwt, 1 – 40 bhp Tylor petrol engine.
Built by the Thames Ironworks as builder’s No. TL58.
RNLI Official Number 613.
Cost £3,664, paid for by the legacy of Mrs.Arabella Vernon.
Launched 26 times, saving 206 lives.
1918 – 1935 : Transferred to Sunderland, launched 28 times, saving 64 lives.
Sold out of service in 1936.

HENRY FREDERICK SWAN 1918 - 1939HENRY FREDERICK SWAN 1918 – 1939: 40 ft Single Engined Self-Righting Type.
40’00 long by 10’06 wide, weight 10 tons 18 cwt, 1 – 40 bhp Tylor petrol engine
Built by S.E.Saunders as builder’s No.S11. DoT number 160427.
RNLI Official Number 646.
Cost £6,901, paid for by Mrs.Lowe.
Launched 28 times, saving 8 lives.
1920 : An existing building in Clifford’s Fort was obtained from the War Office and modified as a boathouse for this lifeboat, a trolleyway being built alongside the Tyne Lifeboat Society’s.
1939 – 1941 : Transferred to the Reserve Fleet, never launched.
1941 – 1947 : Transferred back to Tynemouth when her successor John Pyemont was destroyed by a bomb, launched 4 times without saving life.
Sold out of service in 1947, having achieved a record period of service, at any one station, of 30 years. The RNLI presented her to the 3rd Tyne Sea Scouts for training purposes. Mr.P.Denham Christie, a senior official of the RNLI, was a former coxswain of Tynemouth Lifeboat and was involved with the 3rd Tyne Sea Scouts and was also a director of Swan Hunter. The boat spent periods of time on the jetty at Swan Hunter’s Neptune shipyard during her Sea Scout ownership. She is currently being restored at South Shields by the North East Maritime Trust.

JOHN PYEMONT 1939 - 1941JOHN PYEMONT 1939 – 1941 : 41 ft Watson Type.
41’00 long by 11’08 wide, weight 13 tons 10 cwt, 2 – 35 bhp Weyburn AE6 petrol engines.
Built by Groves and Guttridge as builder’s No. 256. DoT number 167343.
RNLI Official Number 824.
Cost £7,358, paid for by the legacy of Mr.J.Pyemont.
Launched 20 times, saving 59 lives.
Destroyed when her boathouse was hit by a German high explosive bomb on 9th April 1941. The Tyne Lifeboat Society’s Lifeboat James Young was destroyed, with her boathouse, by the same bomb. John Pyemont thus achieved the distinction of being the only RNLI lifeboat in over 100 years not to be officially dedicated or christened.

TYNESIDER 1947 - 1979TYNESIDER 1947 – 1979 : 46’09 Watson Type.
46’09 long by 12’09 wide, weight 21 tons 15 cwt, 2 – 40 bhp Ferry VE4 engines.
Built by J.S.White as builder’s No. W 5395. DoT number 181718.
RNLI Official Number 852.
Cost £16,367, paid for by the Tyneside Blitzed Lifeboat Fund .
1965 : Re-engined with 2 – 65 bhp Parsons Barracuda engines. Cabin added over cockpit area.
Launched 153 times, saving 140 lives.
1979 – 1983 : Transferred to the Reserve Fleet, launched 8 times without saving life.

PRINCESS ALEXANDRA OF KENT 1979 - 1980PRINCESS ALEXANDRA OF KENT 1979 – 1980 : 52 foot Barnett type.
52’00 long by 14’00 wide, weight 28 tons 7 cwt, 2 – 72 hp Gardner diesel engines.
Built in 1958 by J.S.White as builder’s No. W5469. DoT number 187824.
RNLI Official Number 945.
Cost £38,500, paid for by RNLI funds.
1958 – 1975 : Stationed at Torbay, launched 157 times, saving 69 lives.
1975 – 1983 : Transferred to the Reserve Fleet, launched 41 times, saving 19 lives.
During her short spell at Tynemouth, she carried the lettering Tynemouth Lifeboat.
Sold out of service in 1984.
Princess was last kept on Tyneside at Royal Quays Marina but was wrecked at Anstruther, Fife, in August 2012.

GEORGE AND OLIVE TURNER 1980 - 1999GEORGE AND OLIVE TURNER 1980 – 1999 : Arun Class.
52’00 long by 17’00 wide, weight 31 tons 16 cwt, 2 – 460 hp Caterpillar D343 engines.
Built by Halmatic / Osborne as builder’s No. 2020. DoT number 390708.
RNLI Official Number 1061.
Cost £300,000, paid for by the legacy of Mrs.Turner, the Sir James Knott Trust and the Tyneside Lifeboat Appeal.
1999-2000 : Relief fleet.
2000 : Sold to Iceland, renamed GUNNAR FRDIRIKSSON and stationed at Isafiroi.

The current all weather lifeboat, Spirit of Northumberland, was placed on service in 1999.

Inshore Lifeboats

D Class No. D-12 1965 – 1966

D Class No. D-50 1966 – 1970

D Class No. D-172 1970 – 1982

D Class No. D-280 1982 – 1989

D Class No. D-385 1989 – 1998 : Condemned.

D Class No. D-535 Cromer Smuggler 1998 – 2008 : Delivered on 19th August 1998. First station D Class in the new all-over orange livery and our first with a name. Paid for by funds raised by members of the Cromer Smugglers,a Norfolk musical group.

IB1 Class No. D-693 Mark Noble 2008 – present day. First station IB1 Class. Paid for by a lady in memory of her brother.