History of Burnham-On-Sea Lifeboats
1836 Following a local shipping disaster, Sir Peregrine Acland presented the Corporation of Bridgwater with a lifeboat to be stationed at Burnham-on-Sea.
1847 The Bridgwater Harbour Trust replaced the old lifeboat with a new 10-oared lifeboat built by Gale of Whitby, using the design principles laid down by the RNLI.
1866 The lifeboat station was taken over by RNLI and a new boathouse was built. The town of Cheltenham donated a 32ft 10-oared lifeboat, The Cheltenham, to the station. An extract from the Lifeboat Journal says that:
'… a lifeboat should be stationed there as the ordinary shore boats frequently ran great risk in putting off to vessels in distress on the outlying sandbanks in the vicinity.'
1874 A new boathouse was built next to the railway station and close to the town's slipway. The lifeboat was launched using a horse-drawn carriage running on railway lines.
1887 A 34ft 10-oared lifeboat, John Godfrey Morris, replaced The Cheltenham.
1902 Philip Beach, a 35ft 10-oared lifeboat, replaced John Godfrey Morris.
1930 Motor lifeboats were placed at Minehead and Weston-super-Mare to cover Bridgwater Bay and the Burnham-on-Sea lifeboat station closed.
1994 An independent charity, Burnham Area Rescue Boat (BARB) was formed and, following local fundraising, the lifeboat Challenge 1 was bought. A national TV programme, Challenge Anneka, built a boathouse in three days and the lifeboat went on service.
2003 The RNLI took over from BARB at their request and a new lifeboat station was built for two inshore lifeboats, a B class Atlantic 75 and a D class. Both lifeboats became operational on 23 December.
2004 The new Atlantic 75 was officially named Staines Whitfield.
2006 The new D class lifeboat Puffin was placed on service on 11 December.