RNLI Lifeboat Stations in North Wales

North Wales lifeboats stations have stood proud on the shores of north Wales since the mid 1800s. They form the last line of defence for mariners in distress in some of the more challenging marine environments in the UK. They have saved tens of thousands of lives at sea, over recent decades, from swimmers to boat craft caught out by the Celtic sea and its precarious ways.

Back less than a century ago the brave mariners would row out in open wooden clad lifeboats, as their were no powered craft, literally putting their lives on the line on every rescue, to save seamen and their ships in danger of wrecking on the shores of north Wales.

The coast of north Wales has been a famous shipping area for many centuries and has claimed thousands of vessels and countless lives during storms. In my job as a marine geophysicist I get to see the after effects of the wrecks strung across the seabeds all over Europe. They are a sobering reminder of the other side of the sea which change from calm to stormy in a heart beat.

Marine navigation, safety and vessles have improved dramatically over the past five decades. The RNLI have the most cutting edge state of the art craft that self write in capsize situations, but even with the top of the line equipment, crews can be tested to the limit by some of the most testing marine environments here in European waters.

The Lifeboat stations of north Wales have been for their TV appearances on such shows as “saving lives at sea”, which featured Moyelfre, Beaumaris, Abersoch and Rhyl, and made some of the crew local heroes in the area!

All the lifeboat services are run by RNLI, which is a charity organization that depends on contributions by the public. The crews, most of whom are volunteers, ensure the safety of lives of north Wales sailors and watermen and women alike, 24-7 all year round. Feel free to donate and support their charity here :

We have put together a list of lifeboat stations in north Wales including a map for you at the bottom of the blog. Most have visiting hours and are open to the public, but please check each station before heading to them. They are mostly dotted along the north Wales coastal path.



1. RNLI Moelfre Lifeboat station

Location: Moelfre LL72 8LG

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) runs the Moelfre life boat station in Anglesey. The Moelfre Sea Watch here attracts a lot of visitors. This lifeboat station was established in the year 1848 and was moved to the new location at Porth Negiwl in the year 1875. The boat station and the slipway which we can see there today were built in the year 1909. The new Tamar-class lifeboat arrived at this station in the year 2015. This lifeboat station has won 37 gallantry awards.



2. RNLI Beaumaris Lifeboat stations

Location: The Green, Beaumaris, Anglesey LL58 8BS

The RNLI Beaumaris lifeboat station was established in the year 1891. In the year 1895 this lifeboat station was closed when a more advanced lifeboat was provided to Penmon lifeboat station. The Anglesey Lifesaving Association opened the Penmon lifeboat station in 1830 and it was the first lifeboat station in that area. The Beaumaris lifeboat station was re-opened in 1914.



3.  RNLI Trearddur Bay Lifeboat Station

Location: Lon Isallt, Anglesey, ll65 2UP

Trearddur Bay lifeboat station was started as an inshore lifeboat station in the year 1967. In the year 1993, the new larger boathouse was built. A new Atlantic 21- class lifeboat was provided in the year 1996. This is an ideal place to visit with children. Those who are in search of a friendly lifeboat station its the most ideal place to visit, with panoramas of Treaddur bay beach and coastline you can link it up nicely with a coastal path walk.



4.  RNLI Holyhead Lifeboat Station

Location: Newry Beach, Holyhead LL65 1YA

RNLI Holyhead Lifeboat Station is one among the lifeboat stations in Anglesey that are operational 24 x 7 throughout the year. The volunteers who crew the lifeboats here are doing great service  by saving lives.  The Holyhead Lifeboat station was first established in 1828 and the station was taken over by RNLI in the year 1855. This boat station received the first steam lifeboat in the year 1890. In the year 1928 a motor-powered lifeboat replaced the steam boat. The present Severn class boat was introduced in the year 2003.


5. RNLI Barmouth Lifeboat Station

Location: The Promenade, Barmouth LL42 1NF

This is an “explore” category lifeboat station. Visitors can go inside free of charge, look around and enjoy the lifeboats close at hand. The latest Shannon class lifeboat named “Ella Larsen” was inducted in March 2019. This lifeboat station was operating an all weather lifeboat for about 180 years. All the crews here are volunteers and had saved many lives at sea. The crews are from various walks of life and dedicate their time to save lives and carry out rescue operations. The D class lifeboat here is more than 50 years old. She had saved thousands of lives at sea and is still in the fleet of this RNLI lifeboat station.


6. RNLI Criccieth Lifeboat Station

Location: Lon Felin, Criccieth, Gwynedd, LL52 0DN

The Shipwrecked Fishermen and Mariners’ Royal Benevolent Society established the Criccieth Lifeboat Station in the year 1853. In 1854, RNLI took over this lifeboat station. The name of this lifeboat station was “Portmadog” until it got the new name “Criccieth” in the year 1892. In the same year RNLI rebuilt the station also. Criccieth was the first RNLI lifeboat station to operate Arancia IRB.


7. Pwllheli Lifeboat Station

Location: Outer Harbor, Pwllheli, Gwynedd, LL53 5AY

Pwllheli Lifeboat Station was established in 1891 by the RNLI. This Lifeboat Station has one Mersey-class all-weather lifeboat and a D-class IBI lifeboat. This station had its first motor powered lifeboat in the year 1930. This station is open at both ends. Hence the crew can launch the boat either into the harbor or into the sea. The modern boathouse here is under construction. It will also get the new Shannon class lifeboat in the year 2020. The volunteers will have more facilities in the newly built lifeboat station. Clive Moore, a coxswain at Pwllhelli RNLI is the architect of the modern lifeboat house.


8.  RNLI Abersoch Lifeboat Station

Location: Min – y – Don Abersoch, Gwynedd

RNLI established the lifeboat station at Abersoch in the year 1869. This boat station has functioned for more than 100 years. The present B class Atlantic 85 lifeboat of this station is used for commercial as well as leisure craft call outs. The crew of this lifeboat station rescued 13 men from the wrecked ship Kenilworth in the year 1870. The secretary Rev Owen Lloyd Williams was awarded silver medal. In 1994 the new boathouse was built. Abersoch lifeboat Station got the new Atlantic 85 boat “Peter and Ann Setten” in 2015. The bequest of Ann Setten of Shropshire funded the boat.

At Abersoch Lifeboat Station, there is a Lifeboat Practice session every Thursday from 6.30 pm. The participants can chat with the crew and can enjoy a closer view of the boat and tractor as it launches.


9. RNLI Porthdinllaen Lifeboat Station

Location: Lon Golff, Morfa Nefyn, Porthdinllaen, Pwllheli LL53 6DA

RNLI established the Porthdinllaen lifeboat station in the year 1864. This lifeboat station was functioning continuously since its opening. Here the spoken language of the crew is Welsh. Mike Davies served here as coxswain since 2004. In April 1987, the new Tamar class lifeboat “John D Spicer” was launched. The newly built lifeboat station is big enough to accommodate the new big size lifeboat. “John D Spicer” that was launched 32 times that year to rescue people who were caught out at sea.


10. RNLI Llandudno Lifeboat Station

Location: Colwyn Road, Llanduno, LL30 3AA

Llandudno Lifeboat Station came into existence in the year 1861. In 2017, they constructed the modern boathouse. The Shannon class all-weather boat and the class inshore lifeboat participate in many rescue operations. This boat station had its first motor boat in 1933 and its first D class inshore boat in 1965.


12. RNLI Conwy Lifeboat Station

Location: The Quay, Conwy, LL32 8BB

RNLI established the Conwy Lifeboat Station in the year 1966. This lifeboat station is just beneath the Conwy Castle in the historic town of Conwy. Three crew members of Conwy Lifeboat Station, Brian Jones, Ronald Craven and Trever Jones received bravery awards “Thanks of the Institution” inscribed on Vellum in the year 1970. They got the award for rescuing two men from the cruiser “Fulmar” which wrecked near Great Orme. This Lifeboat station reflects the ever growing popularity of Conwy Harbour.


13. RNLI Rhyl Lifeboat Station

Location: Rhyl, LL18 3YP

Rhyl Lifeboat Station, established in the year 1852, is one among the busiest lifeboat stations in Wales. In the year 2001 they completed the new boathouse. This boat station has one Shannon class all-weather lifeboat and an inshore lifeboat. This lifeboat station had saved so many lives at sea over a period of more than 150 years. In 1962, the crew of Rhyl lifeboat station rescued a lifeboat full of people from a hovercraft. The present boathouse was opened in 2002.



Lifeboat stations map of north Wales



Click this link here to get access to the interactive google map on our database


Front cover photo by Ian Barsby on Unsplash


Tan Y Tro Nesaf  / Until the next time,




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