st ives Lifeboat
The Lifeboat House was recently built to house a modern, larger lifeboat launched by carriage directly into the harbour. Previously, the lifeboat had to be towed along the Wharf Road and launched down the slipway opposite the Sloop Inn.
Since 1840 St Ives has had a lifeboat manned by local volunteers for the purpose of rescuing those in peril at sea. Originally this service was carried out by use of a locally built boat, but in 1861 the Royal National Lifeboat Institution provided both lifeboat and facilities as indeed it has in many other parts of the British Isles.
Lifeboats at this station were first propelled by oar and sail, and hauled into the water by townspeople. Over the years the lifeboats were evolved, and the latest boat on station is "HRH The Princess Royal", (C.S. No. 41) a powerful and fast modern lifeboat.
Since the inception of lifesaving at St Ives, over 1000 lives have been saved, and many more assisted to safety. Apart from the Mechanic, all crew members and associated staff are volunteers, and together with the Ladies Guild who run the Souvenir Shop, total about 100 staff in all.
In 1968 the Offshore Lifeboat was supplemented by the provision of an Inshore Lifeboat, which at present is a "D" Class provided by the British Army, and appropriately named "The Spirit of the Royal Corp of Transport".