This film is part of Free

Exmouth Lifeboat Launch

RNLI crew launches its lifeboat in the Exe estuary.

News 1961 Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for South West Film and Television Archive


This is the Watson-class George and Sarah Strachan Royal National Lifeboat Institution boat being launched off the beach in the Exe estuary in 1961. The boat had been built in 1931 by shipbuilding firm J. Samuel White of East Cowes and served the Exmouth RNLI's Station until 1963 when it was replaced by the newer Watson-class lifeboat Michael Stephens. A newly built lifeboat station was opened in 2009 after an appeal raised funds to modernise the facilities.

The new station houses a Shannon Class All Weather Lifeboat (ALB) the R and J Welburn and an Inshore Lifeboat (ILB) the George Bearman with both being launched and recovered by tractor and carriage from a ramp on the beach. Both lifeboats may be launched simultaneously. The station was established in 1803 with its first lifeboat being built by Greathead of South Shields. It was re-established by the Institution in 1858. The RNLI is the largest charity that saves lives at sea around Britain's coast and inland waterways and is funded by voluntary donations. The RNLI has extended its mandate to include flood rescues and respond to international disasters by sending expertise, equipment and teams.