There have been two stations at Padstow, the No 1 station being established before 1825 and the No 2 station in 1899. In March 1938, the No 2 station was designated No 1 station and the old No 1 station at Hawkers Cove designated No 2 this station was closed in 1962. The Institution took over full control of the station in 1856. The current lifeboat station is located at Mother Ivey’s Bay, Trevose Head, having been re-sited from Hawker's Cove, Padstow, in October 1967 due to silting.
On 2 December four pilots went to the aid of the brig Lord Dupplin which was aground on the Dunbar Sands. Their boat capsized and three were drowned: John Chapman, James Trebilcock and Henry Trebilcock. The RNLI made a £10 grant to the widow of James Trebilcock. This incident was one of the reasons a local lifeboat society was formed.
Silver Medal awarded to Mr W Giles who, in the lifeboat with seven seamen, rescued four of the crew of the brig Albion that ran aground in a violent gale on 29 November 1833.
Silver Medal awarded to Captain M B Wade for the rescue of three of the crew of the Jersey smack Britannia that ran aground during a severe gale on 23 November 1836.
Silver Medal awarded to J Mortley, Chief Officer Coastguard, for his gallant services to the Brig Britannia when six men were saved by Dennett's rocket apparatus, with dreadful seas breaking over rescuers and rescued alike, on 31 March 1841.
Silver Medals awarded to Mr R Tredwen for the rescue of the crew of seven of the brig Towan that ran aground on Doombar Sands in a heavy gale on 28 October 1843.
Silver Medal awarded to Mr W Johns, Mr W Dark and Mr W Found for the rescue of the crew of 21 of the Marchioness of Abercorn that was wrecked on 8 December 1847.
Silver Medal awarded to Coxswain Daniel Shea for rescuing the crew of seven men from the brigantine Gonsalve of Nantes that was wrecked on Doombar Sands on 8 March 1859 and rescuing the crew of five from the schooner Frederick William that also ran aground on Doombar Sands on 15 March 1859.
Silver Second-Service clasp awarded to Coxswain D Shea for assisting to land the crew of the ship James Alexander which was wrecked off Padstow during a very heavy gale on 22 January 1860.
Silver Medal awarded to Coxswain W Hills and Silver Third-Service Clasp to ex-Coxswain D Shea for the rescue of the crew of 17 of the barque Juliet wrecked off Padstow in a strong west-south-west gale on 29 December 1865.
The lifeboat was capsized when going to the help of the Georgiana of Boston, Lincs, wrecked at Doombar on 6 February. Five of her crew of 13 were drowned - Daniel Shea, William Intross, Thomas Varco, Andrew Truscott and Michael Crennell. The Institution voted £210 to local fund and paid funeral expenses. Local fund realised £2,188.
Silver Second-Service clasp awarded to William Hills in testimony of his long and gallant services in assisting as coxswain to save a large number of lives from shipwrecks.
Silver Medals awarded to Coxswain William Corkhill and Second Coxswain S Bates for the rescue of seven people from the barque Viking, wrecked in Harlyn Bay on 2 April 1872.
Silver Second-Service clasp awarded to Coxswain William Corkhill on the occasion of his leaving in acknowledgement of his long and valuable services to the lifeboat.
Silver Medals awarded to Miss E F Prideaux Brune, Miss G R Prideaux Brune, Miss M K Prideaux Brune, Miss B M Prideaux Brune and Miss N O'Shaughnessy for their intrepid and prompt services in proceeding through a heavy surf in their rowing boat and saving at considerable risk of life a sailor from a boat which had been capsized by a squall of wind off Bray Hill on 9 August 1879.
Silver Medal of the Institution voted on 2 October and a copy of the vote inscribed on Vellum awarded to Miss Ellen Frances Prideaux Brune, Miss Gertrude Rose Prideaux Brune, Miss Mary Katherine Prideaux Brune, Beatrice May Prideaux Brune, and Miss Nora O’Shaughnessy in acknowledgment of their intrepid and prompt services in proceeding through a heavy surf in their rowing boat and saving at considerable risk of life, a sailor from a boat which had been capsized by a squall of wind off Bray Hill, Padstow Harbour, Cornwall on the 9th August. When the accident occurred the ladies boat was being towed astern of a fishing boat and Miss Ellen Prideaux Brune with great determination asked to be cast off and with her companions she proceeded with all possible despatch to the rescue of the drowning sailor. The Thanks of the Institution also voted to the Hon J G P Vereker and to Samuel Bate late Coxswain of the Institution’s Padstow lifeboat who were also instrumental in saving a boy who had been thrown out of the same boat.
Silver Medal awarded to William Webb on his retirement as coxswain of the Padstow lifeboat in recognition of his gallant services in the boat during the past 13 years.
On 11 April, with a stormy west-north-westerly wind blowing, the ketch Peace and Plenty struck Greenway Rocks. The lifeboat Arab, whilst at anchor close to the casualty, was struck by a tremendous sea that broke 10 oars and washed eight of her crew overboard. The men managed to regain the lifeboat without loss but she was wrecked on the rocks and became a total loss. The steam lifeboat was launched after the pulling lifeboat and as she was leaving the harbour she was caught by a heavy swell and capsized and eight of her crew of 11 were drowned - Coxswain David Grubb, J W Bate, James Grubb, E Kane, J S Martin, J B Old, J Stephens and S East. The steam lifeboat was wrecked and sold for £50. The Committee of Management voted £1,000 to local fund.
The No 2 lifeboat Edmund Harvey broke adrift from her moorings during a north-north-easterly gale and was stranded on the rocks.
Silver Medal awarded to Coxswain W H Baker for the rescue of the Master of the ship Angèle of Brest, which was wrecked on the Doom Bar in a strong west-north-westerly gale and heavy sea on 12 November 1911.
Bronze Medal awarded to Coxswain W J Baker of the No 1 lifeboat in recognition of his gallant conduct and skilful seamanship when the lifeboat under his command rescued the crew of 18 of the ss Taormina of Oslo, which stranded on Doom Bar in a west-north-westerly gale, with a heavy sea on 11 February 1828.
Centenary Vellum awarded.
Bronze Medal awarded to Joseph Atkinson, Master of the steam tug Helen Peele in recognition of his gallant conduct and skilful seamanship when the tug, under his command rescued the crew of five of the fishing vessel Our Girlie of Port Isaac which was wrecked on a rocky shore near Port Quin in a moderate north-north-westerly gale with a very heavy sea on 27 November 1928.
Two of the crew were washed out of the lifeboat whilst at exercise but were rescued.
Signalman T B Cowl dropped dead when on his way to fire assembly maroons.
No 1 station designated No 2, and No 2 designated No 1.
Silver Medal awarded to Second Motor Mechanic W Orchard for taking command of the lifeboat when she travelled 28 miles in a rough sea and blinding squalls of rain and rescued seven people from the Norwegian steamer Sjofna that had run ashore at Knap Head on 23 November 1944. The Maud Smith reward for courage, given for the bravest act of life-saving of the year by a member of a lifeboat crew was awarded to Acting Coxswain Orchard for this service.
Silver Medal awarded to Coxswain J T Murt for rescuing the crew of 10 of the steamer Kedah close under St Agnes Head, in a full gale and huge confused sea on 12 August 1946. It was only at the third attempt, after being twice damaged, that the lifeboat got alongside.
When the Princess Mary was sold out of service, her owner renamed her Aries and she was the first small powered craft to make the double crossing of the Atlantic without the use of sail. The outward journey was made in 33 days and the return journey in 23 days. Heavy storms were met both ways.
No 2 Station closed on 31 March because of silting.
Silver Medal awarded to Coxswain G H Elliott and Vellums to the crew for the rescue of two men from the fishing vessel Deo Gratias of Padstow that was in difficulties in a gale gusting to violent storm, with very rough seas on 23 November 1965.
Lifeboat station re-located to Trevose Head, consisting of a boathouse and a 240ft slipway. A new road a quarter of a mile long running from the coastguard station to the top of the cliff was also constructed. This major civil engineering project cost £114,600.
The ‘Padstow Lifeboat March’ was written by Malcolm Arnold as a tribute to the crews of the RNLI lifeboat station at Padstow and to mark the occasion of the building of the new lifeboat house and slipway. First heard on the occasion of the BBC International Festival of Light Music at the Royal Festival Hall, London on 10 June 1976.
Special framed certificates presented to the station in appreciation of the courage, determination and skilful handling displayed by Coxswain Anthony Warnock and Second Coxswain/Assistant Mechanic Trevor England and the remainder of the crew when the lifeboat was severely damaged by a heavy sea causing injuries to the coxswain and some of the crew on 7 December.
Silver Medals awarded to Coxswain Anthony Warnock and Second Coxswain/Assistant Mechanic Trevor England in recognition of their courage, determination and seamanship when the lifeboat saved the yacht Calcutta Princess which was in difficulties approximately 60 yards from the rocks off Dinas Head and rescued her crew of two and a dog in a west-south-westerly gale and heavy confused sea on 17 July 1977. The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum were accorded to the other members of the lifeboat crew.
1979 A special framed certificate awarded to the coxswain and crew for display at the station in recognition of their services in connection with numerous yachts in difficulties during the Fastnet Race on 14/15 August.
Silver Second-Service Clasp awarded to Coxswain Trevor England in recognition of his courage, determination and skill when the lifeboat stood by the Greek freighter Skopelos Sky in difficulty with a dangerous list off Trevose Head in a westerly hurricane and phenomenal seas on 15 December 1979. The crew were accorded the Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum, together with the slipway helpers who were at times up to their necks in the sea getting the lifeboat back on her slipway. The winchman was presented with a Vellum Service Certificate.
The Council of the Gorsedd of Cornwall awarded the London Cornish Association Shield to Coxswain Trevor England following the award of the Silver Medal for the service to the Greek freighter Skopelos Sky.
Boathouse adapted in order to accommodate the Stations Tyne class lifeboat. It includes the installation of a new fuel storage tank and an exhaust ducting system in the boathouse. Improvements to the cliff lift were also carried out to enable it to carry a stretcher with a casualty and two attendants.
A Framed Letter of Thanks signed by the Chairman of the Institution, the Duke of Atholl, was sent to the coxswain and crew members when the lifeboat stood by the cargo vessel Secil Japan which had grounded on rocks in Deadmans Cove in a storm force west-north-westerly wind and very rough seas on the night of 12/13 March.
Due to serious deterioration to the substructures of both the boathouse and slipway, major concrete repairs were carried out between April 1991 and January 1992.
New boathouse built to accommodate the new Tamar class lifeboat completed on 6 July at a cost of £6.829,900. Demolition of old boathouse completed on 6 September at a cost of £400,000.
The new Tamar class station lifeboat ON1283 Spirit of Padstow was placed on service on 17 July. Lifeboat ON1094 James Burrough (Tyne class) has been withdrawn.
The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum accorded to Coxswain Alan Tarby in recognition of his actions when the Padstow lifeboat saved the yacht Cawesade and a yachtsman from the yacht Fly during a long service in atrocious weather conditions on 25 June 2007. Two of his crew members, Luke Chown and Christopher Murphy received Framed Letters of Thanks signed by the Chairman Admiral Sir Jock Slater.
A Framed Letter of Thanks signed by the Chairman, Admiral the Lord Boyce, awarded to Coxswain Alan Tarby in recognition of his boat-handling, seamanship and clear headed thinking when the crew of the Padstow ALB went to the assistance of a stricken yacht with four persons on board on 29 April 2013.
A Framed Letter of Thanks signed by the Chairman of the Institution, Charles Hunter Pease, will be presented to the station in recognition of the initiative, teamwork and professionalism when they went to the aid of an out of control speedboat Milly, in the Camel Estuary near Tregirls beach on 5 May 2013. The family had been thrown from the speedboat and had suffered some very serious injuries. Rock ILB and two Kayakers were already on scene. One of the kayakers, Leigh Anderson, an off duty Casualty Care Trainer for the RNLI, was looking after multiple casualties with the assistance of her partner, Charlie Gay, whilst the other Kayaker towed the body of a man who had been hit by Milly after being ejected. Rock ILB and local trip boat Thunder continued to transfer casualties to Padstow Harbour for treatment. Padstow crew searched the area for any other casualties before being tasked to the harbour where the body of a young girl had emerged from under the hull of Milly. Two crew members entered the water to recover her body. She was the final family member. Leigh Anderson will be accorded The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum in recognition of her courage, initiative and skills when she attended to the family in need. Charlie Gay also received a Framed Letter of Thanks signed by the Chairman of the Institution, Charles Hunter Pease, for his part in this service.
Thirty medals have been awarded - 28 Silver, two Bronze, the last being voted in 1980.
In 1908 The Portuguese Lifeboat Society gave a Diploma and £10 to crew regarding the Barque Europo of Oporto when the lifeboat rescued seven people.
In 1944 the Norwegian Government sent letter of thanks to the crew regarding the rescue of seven people from the ss Sjofna of Oslo.