You’ll find Blackpool Lifeboat Station between The Tower and Central Pier. It’s one of only a few buildings at the seaward side of the tramway. Take a look at the lifeboats, see the work of the RNLI and support the gift shop.
Join us for a look at the boats and inside the shop –
Each year, Blackpool RNLI hold a family fun day at the lifeboat house. It’s a chance to meet the crew, see the boats and help to raise vital funds. It’s also a great fun day for all the family, with fun and entertainment all day!
- More about this years Blackpool RNLI fun day, in the Visit Fylde Coast events guide.
Look inside Blackpool Lifeboat Station
Blackpool Lifeboat Station houses three inshore lifeboats – an Atlantic 85 and two D class. Plus the super-clever tractor which launches and retries them into the sea. Upstairs in the shop is a viewing gallery where you can look at the boats and equipment. Volunteers are usually on hand to give you more information.
While you’re there, have a look around the gift shop. It’s packed full of really good quality and unusual gifts – the profits of which all go towards supporting the work of the charity that saves lives at sea.
The address is Central Promenade, Blackpool, FY1 5JA
Tel: 01253 620424
Open every day from Easter – October between 10am and 4pm
Open Saturday and Sunday from 10-4 from November to Easter.
- Blackpool Lifeboat Station is one of only two RNLI stations to house three inshore lifeboats.
- The two D class lifeboats are D-729 Eileen Mary George and D-732 Basil Eric Brooks. They came into service on 30 March 2010 – both named after two local supporters whose legacies funded the vessels.
- The Atlantic 85 lifeboat B-867 is named William & Eleanor and has been in service since 23 April 2013.
The RNLI and Coastguard also operate from Fleetwood and Lytham St Annes, covering the whole of the Fylde Coast.
History of Blackpool Lifeboat Station
Blackpool Lifeboat Station was established by the RNLI in 1864.
The Robert William was Blackpool’s first lifeboat – it arrived in Blackpool on 14 July 1864. 20,000 people watched the official launch on 20 July, just a few days after it’s arrival, from the slade opposite the Manchester Hotel. It was towed from station to seashore by a boat carriage, pulled by four horses.
The first Lifeboat Station at Lytham Road was built at a cost of £170.00. This was at the same time at the arrival of the lifeboat, becoming redundant with the construction of the new one at the promenade in 1937. That first station has had many uses – an amusement arcade, a rock shop and a gift shop. Then in 2009 it became the Boathouse Community Centre. Today it’s the Lifeboat Amusements arcade, opposite Hopton Road.
Did you know? Formed in 1884, Blackpool had its own Lifeboat Band, the only one of it’s type in the world! They entertained at local events for 74 years and, until being disbanded in 1958, raised large sums of money for charity and the needy.
Rescues and Escapes!
In 1897 Blackpool Lifeboat rescued 20 people who had the misfortune to be onboard the Foudroyant. Lord Nelson’s old Flagship was moored near North Pier to host an exhibition, but heavy seas and storms wrecked the ship.
In 1930 Samuel Fletcher of Manchester was withdrawn from service. Here’s an interesting tale that links Blackpool’s entertainment history to it’s proud and long serving RNLI. How the young Karl Bartoni began his career with an escape from Blackpool’s second lifeboat. The tale of the Escapologist and Samuel Fletcher of Manchester.
Modern Lifeboat Stations
The next lifeboat station was opened on the promenade by the Duke of Kent in 1937. Built during 1936 alongside Central Pier this one housed a new motor lifeboat.
Some years later, in 1978, an inshore lifeboat house was added to the station. After it closed in 1998 the station was used for making and selling rock, before being demolished on 24 March 2009.
It was September 1998 when construction of todays modern boathouse and visitor centre was completed.
Did you know? In 1999 the RNLI filmed a cinema advertisement using the Blackpool Lifeboat.
Join Blackpool RNLI
- Their own external website
While you’re here…
Go to the homepage of the Live Blackpool website for the latest updates.
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