Criccieth lifeboats have been saving lives at sea since 1853 -

 Croeso i Wefan Gorsaf Bad Achub Criccieth                Welcome to the Criccieth Lifeboat Station Website

This home page shows the latest service launches, exercise dates and the latest news from the station.

Site last updated 30th May 2016

Our lifeboat station is located in the small seaside resort of Criccieth and covers the north eastern corner of Cardigan Bay. The station  has been in existence since 1853 and currently operates both an Atlantic 85 lifeboat "DORIS JOAN" which was placed on service at the station on 6th November 2007 and an Arrancia Inshore Rescue Boat "Margaret and Nantw"(A-76) which arrived on 16th June, 2011. The IRB is primarily used for work in the shallow waters of the Glaslyn and Dwyryd estuaries..

2016 Service Calls -  11 calls have been answered so far in 2016

2015 Service Calls -  22 calls were answered in 2015

2014 Service Calls -  29 calls were answered in 2014

2013 Service Calls -  59 calls were answered  in 2013

2012 Service Calls -  33 calls were answered in 2012

2011 Service Calls56 calls were answered in 2011
2010 Service Calls - 60 calls were answered in 2010

2009 Service Calls - 27 calls were answered in 2009

2008 Service Calls - 20 calls were answered in 2008

2007 Service Calls - 23 calls were answered in 2007

2006 Service Calls- 32 calls were answered in 2006

Latest Service Launches -

30th May A85 (1256) IRB (1305) Two persons stranded on North Bank in Porthmadog estuary. Atlantic 85 saved 2 lives

29th May  A85 (1822)  Broken down speedboat and jetski off Mochras Point. Towed in both boats and six occupants to Black Rock Sands

29th May A85 (1546) Inflatable with one young boy aboard being blown out to sea off Harlech. Picked up by passing speedboat prior to arrival of lifeboat.

28th May IRB (1026) Jetski broken down off Criccieth main beach. Jetski and two occupants brought back to lifeboat station.

Exercise Launches -

Thursday nights

There is now an exercise / training meeting every Thursday night with the crew meeting at 1800. The lifeboat will normally launch between 1815 and 1830. There may be some nights where only shore based training will take place in the boathouse.

Sunday morning

An exercise will also take place on the second Sunday in every month with the lifeboat launching between 8.45 and 9.00. 

If you are travelling some distance to see the launch please contact the Lifeboat Operations Manager on 01766 523183 or 07802 940678 to check if the exercise is taking place:

Latest News-    

Donation from Criccieth Pony Show

On 26th May Mr John Owen presented the station with a cheque of £1254.29 which represented half the assets of the now defunct Criccieth Pony Show. The other half went to the North Wales Air Ambulance.

Coast Review Visit

On 6th April the RNLI's Coast Review delegation visited the station to discuss all aspects of it's operations.

Gold Badge Awards 

The RNLI has awarded two long serving volunteers from Criccieth's RNLI Lifeboat Station with prestigious accolades. 
The Station’s Vice President, Ken Roberts is awarded a Gold Badge; whilst Criccieth Lifeboat Operations Manager, Peter Williams is awarded a Gold Bar to his Gold Badge. 

Ken Roberts’ distinguished service with Criccieth Lifeboat began as a volunteer Crew Member in 1975, during which time he was presented with the RNLI's Thanks on Vellum (alongside Jim Owen and Robert D Williams) for his service to the yacht Zircon in September, 1977; the yacht had run aground in heavy seas on the Porthmadog bar at night with a family of 4 on-board, all four were rescued by the Crew. He retired from the crew in 1986 before serving with Criccieth HM Coastguard from 1986 until 1999.  He served as the Station’s Deputy Launching Authority from 1999 until 2007.  Ken is currently serving as the Station’s Vice President.

Peter Williams’ committed service began in 1965 as a Shore Helper, before serving as a Crew Member between 1969 and 1991.  He was appointed as Honorary Secretary in January 1991 – the post’s title being changed to Lifeboat Operations Manager in 2003.  In 1988, he was awarded the Long Service Badge and in 2002 with a pair of Binoculars – which are awarded after 10 years of service as Honorary Secretary.  In 2011, the RNLI presented him with the Gold Badge – the Gold Bar will now be placed on the Badge as further recognition of his service.    

Alarm Siren  

In order warn pedestrians around the lifeboat launching area a new alarm was trialled at the station on Thursday 15th October, 2015. The purpose of this alarm is to give an audible alarm and bilingual voice message that the lifeboat is about to launch. This is to improve safety of the public when the lifeboat is launching on service. It will not be used at night or for exercises. A further trial was made in early November and after minor modifications the system became live in early December.

Latest Photos and Video Taken from a Drone

Duncan Hine, of Vertical Horizons Media ,whose grandmother lives in Criccieth, recently took photographs and videos of our Atlantic 85 lifeboat using a professional drone. The results were absolutely stunning and can be seen on the following links. We are very grateful to Duncan for his generosity and time.

Still Photographs:     


Arancia IRB visits Ysgol Treferthyr (Criccieth Primary School)

On Friday 1st May 2015 members of the lifeboat crew visited Ysgol Treferthyr and showed the Arancia to all the pupils at the school. Year Three pupils were undertaking a project on the lifeboat station and visited the boathouse on 15th May.

Specialist training for Arancia IRB

Two specialist instructors from the RNLI's lifeguard service attended the station on Saturday and Sunday 11/12 October. The training involved advanced boat handling skills and capsize training. Some of it was held in Porthmadog Harbour whilst the remainder was carried out off Criccieth beach.

Two kayaks brought in by Atlantic 85

Two kayaks which were adrift off the Marine Terrace, Criccieth on 26th September, 2014 were brought ashore by the Atlantic 85 lifeboat "DORIS JOAN".

Photograph of Station Personnel

On 14th September Terry Mills of Imaginin Photographic Images  (and leader of U3A Porthmadog photographic group) took numerous photographs including the following one of the station personnel who were able to be present

Standing in front of Arancia IRB A-76 l-r Helen Wright, Marian Hughes, Carol Emery(Vice President), Pat Roberts (Ladies Guild Members) Sitting in Arancia A76 l-r Dafydd Thomas, Daniel Owen, Euron Thomas, Elfyn Pugh, Bryn Ferguson (Crew Members) Sitting In Atlantic 85 Doris Joan l-r Gordon Emery, Sion Marini, Mark Hobley, Clive Wright, Cai Ferguson (Crew Members) Standing in Front Tudor Jones (Chairman), Robert Roberts (President), Sue Williams (Chaplain), Stephen Shakespeare (Tractor Driver), Ifer Gwyn (Crew Member and Press Officer), Nigel Wright (Crew Member), William Walker Jones (Deputy Launching Authority), Ken Roberts (Vice President), Peter Williams (Lifeboat Operations Manager)

Arancia Container Bolted Down

Crew members Mark Hobley (left) and Nigel Wright with Dave Jones

Following the Arancia Container being washed away earlier in the year Dave Jones of Colin Jones Rock Engineering of Porthmadog very kindly arranged to secure the container to the concrete base it rests on at no cost to the station. We are very grateful for his generosity.

Arancia Container moves back home



During the morning of Sunday, 9th March, 2014 the Arancia container was moved back to its permanent site following its temporary removal following the storms on 3rd January. It will now be bolted to the concrete apron on which it lies.

Rough Weather Exercise 10th February 2014

Here is a link to a video taken aboard the Atlantic 85 lifeboat during a rough weather launch on Sunday, 10th February, 2014  

RNLI Chief Executive Visits Criccieth Lifeboat Station

Paul Boissier, the RNLI's Chief Exutive, accompanied by Colin Williams the Regional Operations Manager, visited the station on Wednesday, 8th January and met with operational personnel and fundraisers.

Arancia Storage Container Carried Away By Storm

The container which temporarily houses the IRB was moved approximately 25 feet by the strength of the storm which battered Criccieth on Friday, 3 January, 2014. Later that afternoon the container was lifted by a mobile crane and taken to the safety of the car park off the main promenade. No damage was done and the IRB was soon back on service.

New Mitsibushi L200 Launch Vehicle for Arancia IRB

The land rover which had been in use since the arrival of the IRB in July 2009 was replaced by a larger  L200 Mitsibushi on 19th November. It gives more space for the crew and proper storage space for equipment.

Links to videos of exercise taken on 19 September 2013

Last of 1953 crew passes away

It is with deep regret that we report the passing away of the last remaining crew member who re-opened the station in 1953. Glyn Pritchard died on 11th September, 2013. He served as a crew member on the all weather lifeboat before she was removed in 1968 and was Assistant Mechanic from 1962 onwards. He also served on the crew of the inshore lifeboat from her arrival in 1967 until his retirement from the station.

2013 Open Day

The 2013 Open Day took place on Sunday 11 August from 11am until 5pm. A total of £901.43 was raised towards RNLI funds.

Two helmsmen presented with Long Service Badges

On Thursday, 25th July 2013, Helmsmen Chris Fisher and Clive Wright were presented with their 20 year long service badges at the station's Annual Open Meeting by Matt Crofts, Divisional Operations Manager. The had joined as soon as they could after their 17th birthdays in 1993. Chris was for many years also the station's boat mechanic and Clive is the current Lifeboat Training Co-ordinator. Congratulations to both of them.

Local resident donates £8,500 towards new IRB boathouse

On Thursday, 9th May, 2013 members of the lifeboat crew emptied a large lifeboat collection box in which an avid local supporter, Mr Nick Millard, had contributed £8,500 during the past two years. Mr Millard was present at the boathouse when this money was counted by the station's crew and officials. It will be used towards the cost of building a new permanent boathouse for the station's Arancia Inshore Rescue Boat. This generous contribution is much appreciated by everyone at the lifeboat station.

Replacement Tractor


The station's tractor TW58H, which had been at Criccieth since it was built in December 2003, left the station on 9th April 2003 and went into refit. It has been replaced by TW62H which was previously stationed at Rye Harbour. It had also served at Criccieth on relief for a few days when brand new in 2010.

Shannon Trials

Photo of Criccieth Atlantic 85 and Abersoch Atlantic 75 alongside Trials Shannon  (Photo by Andy Green)

On 7th April, 2013 the new Shannon class prototype lifeboat visited Pwllheli whilst on a tour of the west coast of the UK. She was visiting lifeboat stations which may be supplied with a lifeboat of this class in the future as a replacement for their Mersey class lifeboat.

Intensive Inshore Rescue Boat Training

During the weekend of 9th/10th March intensive training was provided by RNLI specialist lifeguard instructors both at Porthmadog Harbour and off Criccieth beach. The instructors brougth with them two additional boats which were used in conjunction with the stations's Arancia IRB and Atlantic 85.

Doris Joan Returns Home

Our station Atlantic 85 lifeboat "Doris Joan" returned home on Thursday, 21 February, 2013 following a major refit at the Inshore Lifeboat Centre at Cowes. She has had many modifications including a new Mark 3 roll bar, a hatched deck to give easier access to the fuel and ballast tanks, strengthened hull, a new type VHF radio and a fixed webcam on the mast. She is now the same specification as a brand new Atlantic 85 being built today. The crew have been out on familiarisation trials (see photos above) are are very pleased with her performance.

Casualty Care Course

Throughout January crew members have been undertaking a casualty care course with an RNLI mobile training unit. All fifteen crew members who attended the course were successful and have been awarded certificates for their hard work.

5 stalwarts recognised in RNLI's New Year Honours List

The RNLI have awarded the following awards to personnel at the Criccieth LIfeboat Station in their 2013 Annual Awards to volunteers:

Honorary Life Governor (the highest award the RNLI can make to a voluntary worker) has been awarded to Tom Williams who has been the station's treasurer since 1972.

The RNLI's Gold Badge has been awarded to Gwen Jones-Morris and Sue Taylor who have been longstanding fundraisers in the Porthmadog and Criccieth areas.

The RNLI's Bronze Badge has been awarded to Gill Baggs and Catherine Hughes who were involved for many years in the running of the shop at the lifeboat station in addition to general fundraising in Criccieth.

Everyone at the station congratulates them on their awards with is a fitting tribute to all their efforts over so many years. 

Station lifeboat goes into refit

Photo of "DORIS JOAN" almost ready to leave workshops and have trials before returning to Criccieth

Due to technical problems in resolving the fuel tank problems the station lifeboat "DORIS JOAN" has gone into a full refit at the Inshore Lifeboat Centre at Cowes. The fourteen week refit will include fitting a new roll bar and deck as well as modifying the boat's electrical system. A video camera will also be installed on the boat so that rescues can be recorded as they take place. The lifeboat is due back at Criccieth towards the end of February 2013.

Presentation of Silver Badge to Station President

The RNLI's Silver Badge was presented to the station's President Robert M Roberts on Thursday, 6th September, 2012 by Colin Williams, the RNLI's Inspector of Lifeboats for Wales and the Isle of Man. He has been the station's President since 2011 having previously served since the 1960's as a shore helper, crew member and box secretary.

Relief Lifeboat B850 Edna May is sent to station

Due to problems with fuel delivery from her port fuel tank the station lifeboat B823 DORIS JOAN was returned to the Inshore Lifeboat Centre at Cowes for repairs on Tuesday,14th August, 2012. Her place has been taken by another Atlantic 85 lifeboat from the RNLI's Relief Fleet.

2012 Open Day - Sunday 12th August

This was an excellent day and £1406.83 was raised towards the work of the station. Thanks to everybody who supported us so well.

Stormy Stan prepares to go to the rescue!!

The lifeboat crew are good chefs too!!

Lifeboat assists in marriage proposal

At the start of the routine weekly exercise on 2nd August the lifeboat assisted a young man in proposing to his girlfriend. As both of them stood at the end of the pier the lifeboat came past displaying a banner asking the girlfriend to marry him. Their families watched nearby in what was a moving ocassion.

Lifeboats assist in towing yacht off Criccieth main beach

A 45 foot yacht "ANNIE GUNN" ran aground on the main beach at Criccieth. The IRB was first launched to assess the situation and after help had been asked for the Atlantic 85 launched. The IRB passed a crew member aboard the yacht and also a tow rope from the Atlantic 85. The yacht was successfully towed off the beach and proceeded on its way to Pwllheli.

Bronze Badge presented to Vice President

The RNLI's Bronze Badge was presented to Mrs Carol Emery at a presentation ceremony held at St Asaph in June 2012. She is a very active fundraiser and is chair of the local ladies fundraising group.

Presentation to Station Stalwart

The RNLI's Gold Badge was presented to Jim Owen by the Duke of Gloucester at the RNLI's Annual Presentation of Awards at the Barbicvan, London on Thursday 17th May, 2012. Jim recently retired at the statikon's President having previously served since 1965 as a shore helper, crew, senior helmsman and DLA.

Lifeboat Crew Receive Radar and Radio Training

The newer members of the crew have received intensive training in the operation of radar and radio equipment from the RNLI's mobile training units which visitged the station in February and March. The all passed the courses and have been awarded RYA certificates for their hard work.

Criccieth Croeso Nadolig (Welcome Christmas) Event

The Arancia, Land Rover and Stormy Stan were present on the Maes at Criccieth during this event. Santa and Stormy Stan headed the parade up the High Street on Saturday 3rd December.

Relief Lifeboat on station

The relief Atlantic 85 lifeboat "MARY LEWIS" arrived in the early hours of 19th August to replace the station Atlantic 85 which has been sent away for repairs. "DORIS JOAN" returned to the station on 20th September.

2011 Open Day

This took place on Sunday, 14th August and was a great success. There was a rescue demonstration involving both lifeboats as well as various stalls in the boathouse.  Stormy Stan was present to delight the crowd and over £800 was raised for the RNLI's funds. Thanks to everyone whjo made the day a big success.

150th Anniversary and Naming of new Inshore Rescue Boat

On Saturday 2nd July the new inshore rescue boat "Margaret and Nantw" was named and dedicated. A 150th Anniversary Vellum was also presented to the station.

Arancia Training 19/20 March 2011

A weekend of intense training including capsize drills were carried out during this weekend.

Meeting of RNLI Trustees 3rd November

At this meeting it was decided that the Arancia IRB which had been on trials at the station since July 2009 would be permanently allocated to complement the Atlantic 85 lifeboat. It was also decided to award the station a Vellum to commemorate 150 years of life saving.

Whitby Historic Lifeboat

   The Whitby Historic Lifeboat "William Riley of Birmingham and Leamington"  visited Porthmadog for the Ffestiniog Railway Mayday event. On Saturday, 8th May she was rowed from Porthmadog to Criccieth and back by members of the lifeboat crew and Porthmadog Rowing Club.

Pride of Wylfa Award

Criccieth lifeboatman Huw Owen was recently awarded a “Pride of Wylfa Award”. Huw is employed at the Wylfa Power Station in Anglesey and was nominated by his workmates for the award which is given to employees who carry out community service in their local community. At a recent ceremony Huw was presented with his award by Nick Gore, Wylfa Site Director and at the same time a cheque for £250 towards the work of the Criccieth Lifeboat Station was presented to Peter Williams, the station’s Lifeboat Operations Manager.

left to right Nick Gore, Huw Owen, Peter Williams

Chief Executive's Award -

Paul Filby the station's Senior Helmsman who joined with his colleagues from the RNLI's Flood Rescue team to move people to safety from the floods in Cumbria in November 2009 has been awarded the RNLI Chief Executive's Award for his efforts there. Over 200 people  were assisted by the RNLI teams. Paul will be appearing on a special BBC "Songs of Praise" programme from Cockermouth on BBC 1 at 5pm on Sunday 21 February 2010.

2009 Open Day

A very successful Open Day took place on Sunday, 9th August, 2009. Although not meant to be a fundraising event over £640 was raised for the RNLI's funds during the day. Many thanks to all who helped on the day.

Arrancia Inshore Rescue Boat arrives on station

The new Arrancia IRB arrived on station on 30th July 2009 and was launched for work up trials in the Porthmadog Estuary on the morning of Saturday, 1st August. It took exactly the same time for the Arrancia to arrive at Borth y Gest having been towed by the station's new landrover as it did for the Atlantic 85 to travel from Criccieth by sea.

Arrancia to be stationed at Criccieth for work in the shallow waters of the Glaslyn and Dwyryd Estuaries

Trials took place with a D class lifeboat, Y class lifeboat and an Arrancia IRB on 13 June to see if the problems encountered with shallow water could be overcome. Initial trials to familiarise the crew with the Arrancia took place on 11 June. As a result of these trials an Arrancia IRB will be placed on extended trials at Criccieth. She will be launched either from the beach at Criccieth or towed by an RNLI land rover for launching in Porthmadog Harbour. She is expected to arrive on 30th July, 2009.

Filming for Welsh Language Children's Programme "Cei Bach"

A new televison programme for children aged 3-7 is being filmed in the Borth y Gest area. Similar to the English language Balamory programme 52 15 minute episodes are being prepared for showing on S4C - the Welsh language television channel over the next two years. The lifeboat was involved in filming a rescue scene on Sunday, 10th May when the family who star in the programme had to be rescued after being "cut off by the tide".

Visitors since 1st March 2006   

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