A lifeboat was first stationed in Withernsea in 1862 by the RNLI because of the large amount of shipping traffic entering the River Humber. The first boathouse was built near to the lighthouse, at the bottom of Hull Road, which is now the “Lifeboat Fish & Chips” restraunt.
The next boathouse was built slighly closer to the sea, in Withernsea’s Seaside Road.
When a motor powered lifeboat was stationed at the mouth of the River Humber in 1913, Withernsea’s lifeboat station was closed and the boat instead moced to a new station down the road at Easington.
It wasn’t until 1974 that a lifeboat station was re-established in Withernsea. The boat was a D-Class lifeboat and was kept on the south end of the seafront.
In 1983 another new boathouse was built for Withernsea’s D-Class, followed by the next in March 1998. A year after this a new D-Class, the “Brian and Margaret Wiggins” was put on service on 5th January 1999.
One of the biggest rescues that the crew of Withernsea Lifeboat have been involved with actually happened inland on the M1 Motorway. In the 8th January 1989 the crew were in a minibus travelling home after visiting the London Boat Show with a Boeing 737 crashed on the motorway at Kegworth. For over three hours Withernsea’s crew assisted other rescue services recover 126 dead and injured people from the aircraft. The station was awarded a special Chairman’s certificate.
In 1991 Helmsman John Hartland was awarded a bronze medal for a service to the yacht “Frangipani” which was in difficulties in very poor weather and sea conditions. Crew members Paul Theobald and Paul Haynes Barker were awarded “Thanks of the Institution”.