One of five lifeboat stations on the Isle of Man, Ramsey has celebrated nearly 130 years of saving lives at sea. Nine station lifeboats have served at Ramsey with today’s carriage-launched Mersey class lifeboat carrying out rescues to both leisure and commercial vessels.
This station is classed as an Observe station. Observe stations also welcome visitors but many are in inaccessible places and best suited to maritime rescue rather than visits. However, they are situated in stunning locations so why not enjoy the local area, using the station as a starting point?
Manx RNLI volunteers welcomed a special guest earlier this week as the charity’s Chairman Charles Hunter-Pease met station, shop and branch volunteers on an official tour of the Island.
Ramsey’s Mersey class RNLI lifeboat, the RNLB Ann and James Ritchie, was launched at 4:08pm yesterday afternoon, Saturday 27 September, to go to the aid of a dismasted ‘Hobie Cat’, a small catamaran, being swept northwards towards the Point of Ayre.
Those strolling along South Promenade in Ramsey may have noticed that Ramsey RNLI Station has a brand new nine metre shiny flagpole proudly flying RNLI flag.
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Ramsey Lifeboat StationQueens PromenadeIsle of ManBritish IslesIM8 1BH
Station opening times:
Monday–Friday 9am–5pmDon't miss: crew training – alternate Thursdays and Sundays (Phone for details)
Visitor contact telephone:
Shop opening times:
Specific crew member details for this lifeboat station are not available here at the moment.
More than 4,800 lifeboat crew members around the UK and RoI drop everything when their pagers go off, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Only 1 in 10 crew members has a professional maritime occupation. Men and women of all ages and all walks of life crew the RNLI lifeboats around our coasts and waterways.
Lifeboat name: Ann and James Ritchie
Lifeboat class: Mersey
Funded by: The Gough Ritchie Trust
Read more about the Mersey
The station was established in 1829, five years after the Institution itself was founded. The Institution took over the station in 1868.
1845Silver Medal awarded to Mr John Covin for the rescue of six people from the schooner Hazelwood.
1869Lifeboat house constructed at a cost of £145.
1883Silver Medal awarded to Coxswain Robert Fell on his retirement in recognition of his gallant services.
1887Lifeboat was out on service twice on 1 November 1887 in a sea and a storm the like of which the honorary secretary stated had not visited the coast within the memory of man. On returning some of the ropes attached to the drogue broke because of the great strain and the boat broached to and filled. The crew righted her and all regained the boat without loss of life.
1889New lifeboat forwarded to station and old lifeboat was presented to the town.
New lifeboat house with a crew reading room and house for the coxswain constructed at cost of £1,731.
1890Slipway constructed at a cost of £440. Ramsey Town Commissioners paid Institution £300 for site of old lifeboat house. Old lifeboat house sold for £22 10 0d.
Silver Medal awarded to honorary secretary, Mr Edward C Kerr, and Coxswain Robert Garrett, for the rescue of 18 people from the dredger Walter Bibby and the schooner Margaret. The lifeboat launched into a violent northerly gale with rough cross seas and heavy rain squalls on 7 November to assist the steam dredger WalterBibby, riding at anchor a mile and a half south of Ramsey Harbour in serious danger, and despite violent gusts of wind and the rolling of the dredger, took off the 15 men on board and as the boat was unable to regain her station, landed them south of Ramsey. On 11 November the lifeboat launched in a gale with thick, very cold weather and rain but while being hauled off by warp an immense wave caused damage. Stern to the wind the lifeboat rode on the warp until daylight. The Belfast vessel Margaret was seen a mile to the north and by 0800 her three man crew had been taken off and landed safely.
1892Slipway altered at a cost of £132.
1893In attempting to take off the crew of a vessel whilst on service on 10 December 1893, the lifeboat was engulfed and six men were washed out of the lifeboat. They all regained the boat.
1895Lifeboat was badly damaged through being thrown into the harbour in order to take her on service on 7 February, when she rescued two men.
1911Acetylene beach light provided.
1913When the lifeboat was being taken out for exercise on 1 September one of the main axle arms of the carriage broke and a wheel fell over on to two spectators, a boy named Howell and a Mr Haworth. Mr Haworth received an ex gratia payment of £100.
1920In view of the difficulty of obtaining horses, arrangements were made for a lorry to draw the lifeboat on to the road.
1929A Centenary Vellum awarded to station.
1942Bronze Medal awarded to Coxswain John Comish for the rescue of the crew of 13 of the Aberdeen trawler Strathairlie that ran ashore on a very dark night in a strong south-south-easterly wind at Skellig Bay on 20 November 1941. In a heavy on shore sea it was impossible for the lifeboat to get alongside the casualty so Coxswain Comish anchored, dropped down on his cable, and managed to get two lines on board the casualty, then hauled on these lines just far enough for a man to jump aboard when a sea had passed, and hauled out again on the cable before the next sea. Thirteen times he took the lifeboat alongside the trawler in this way and was successful in rescuing the crew of 13..
1948The lifeboat Lady Harrison ran ashore on service on 6 January 1948 but no damage was done to the boat and no-one was injured. The ex-coxswain was washed out of her and was hauled aboard again by Second Coxswain Ball. Second Coxswain Ball received a letter of thanks.
1956Assistant Motor Mechanic Albert Cottier, lost his life together with five other men when a rowing boat capsized on 8 March. Of the other men who lost their lives, Eric J Lyall had gone out in the lifeboat a number of times and Arnold Brew had frequently acted as helper at launches.
1958Crew member Mr E B Kinnin, died whilst putting on oilskins in lifeboat house, prior to launch on service to the fishing vessel Sea Lion.
1976A 150th Anniversary Vellum awarded to station.
1986The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum accorded to Coxswain James Kinnin in recognition of the skill, leadership and determination he displayed when the lifeboat rescued 14 people and saved the yachts Airy Fairy, Billy Whizz and Broadaxe which were in difficulties in North Ramsey Bay in a south-south-westerly storm and very rough seas on the night of 25/26 May.
1991A new boathouse was completed in January to accommodate the stations new Mersey class lifeboat. This was built on the site of the old boathouse, which was demolished after it was considered insufficient in size for the new boat. The new boathouse included workshop, store room, souvenir sales outlet and improved crew facilities.
The Oakley class lifeboat withdrawn and replaced by a Mersey class lifeboat.
1993The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum was accorded to Coxswain James Kinnin in recognition of his leadership, courage and seamanship when the lifeboat Ann and James Ritchie rescued the sole occupant and the yacht Lugo which was close to the seawall at Ramsey after suffering engine failure in a heavy breaking surf and gale force winds in the early hours of the morning on 30 August 1992.
MEDAL RECORDThe crew of Ramsey have been awarded five Medals, four Silver and one Bronze, the last being voted in 1942.
FOREIGN AWARDSIn 1937 the Finnish Government awarded a Silver Medal to Coxswain Lord and Bronze Medals to the rest of the crew for services rendered to the ss Esbo of Helsingfors on 19 October 1937.
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number CHY 2678 in the Republic of Ireland | RNLI (Trading) Ltd - 1073377, RNLI (Sales) Ltd - 2202240, RNLI (Enterprises) Ltd - 1784500 and RNLI College Ltd - 7705470 are all companies registered in England and Wales at West Quay Road, Poole BH15 1HZ. Images & copyright © RNLI 2014.