History of Dun Laoghaire lifeboat station

dunl011803 - The first lifeboat for the area was placed at Sandycove by the Dublin Ballast Board

1817 - A lifeboat was placed at Old Dunleary by the Dublin Ballast Board.

Before the RNLI took over the lifeboat station, many rescues took place off the coast. One Gold (1829) and seven Silver (1844 and 1861[six]) Medals for Gallantry were awarded.

1861 - The RNLI took over the lifeboat station.

dunl021868 - Silver Medals were awarded to Mr Edmund Gray and to Mr John Freeney for saving five men from the schooner Blue Vein.

1876 - Second Coxswain Thomas White died after the lifeboat capsized.

1881 - A Silver Medal was awarded to Coxswain H Williams for a rescue to the wreck of the George H Oulton.

1890 - A second lifeboat (No.2) was placed at moorings in the harbour.

1892 - Crew Member Patrick Hammond died when the lifeboat was wrecked whilst on night exercise.

dunl031895 - On 24 December, 15 lifeboat crew tragically lost their lives when the No.2 lifeboat capsized on service to the steamship Palme. The No.1 lifeboat also capsized but fortunately all the crew were able to get safely back to shore. There is a memorial to the 15 lifeboatmen overlooking the harbour, close to the lifeboat moorings.

A Gold Medal was awarded to Thomas McCombie, Captain of the steamship Tearaght, for rescuing the 20 crew of the Palme the next day.

1901 - A boathouse for No.2 lifeboat was built.

1911 - The first lifeboat station closed.

dunl041919 - The station¹s first motor lifeboat arrived at the station.

1930 - A Centenary Vellum was awarded to the station.

1947 - The Thanks of the Institution Inscribed on Vellum was awarded to Acting Second Coxswain W Kelly for saving 45 from the Bolivar.

1956 - Captain R S Kearon, Honorary Secretary, who was also the Harbour Master, drowned when the harbour launch capsized.

1963 - The lifeboat was placed on moorings close to the Mail Boat Pier.

1969 - A Bronze Medal was awarded to Coxswain/Mechanic Eric Offer for rescuing two men from their capsized dinghies. He was also presented with the Maud Smith Award.

1975 - A 150th Anniversary Vellum was presented to the station.

1980 - A special Vellum certificate was awarded to Dr Niall L Webb, honorary medical adviser, for attending an injured man.

1986 - An inshore lifeboat (ILB) station was established with a D class lifeboat.

1990 - The Thanks of the Institution Inscribed on Vellum was awarded to Mr Eamon O¹Leary when he rescued, single-handedly, five men, one who had suffered a heart attack, and a young boy from a capsized dinghy.

1995 - The Trent class lifeboat Anna Livia arrived at the station in June. She was funded from proceeds of the Dublin Bay Lifeboat Fund and other gifts and legacies.

2001 - The present D class lifeboat, Tony Heard, was placed on service. She was funded by a legacy from Tony Heard.

Station honours

A day does not go by without a volunteer crew somewhere showing their selflessness, skill and courage to help save lives at sea. Occasionally, however, a rescue deserves special recognition and the RNLI rewards acts of skill and bravery with awards from a Framed Letter of Thanks from the Chairman to a Gold Medal for Gallantry. Awardees of a Gold Medal are invited to attend the Victoria Cross and George Cross Association.

At Dun Laoghaire lifeboat station the following awards have been made:

Thanks of the Institution Inscribed on Vellum: 4 Bronze Medal: 1 Silver Medal: 10 Gold Medal: 2

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Rescue Archive

Click here for older rescue stats

Desktop pager

Desktop Virtual Pager

You can receive alerts directly to your own PC desktop whenever the lifeboat launches on a rescue. The RNLI has a unique 'Virtual Pager' that will tell you whenever a station's crew has received a call on their own paging system.

For operational reasons, there is a delay of several minutes between the the real pager alert and the Virtual Pager going off. We also ask you not to go to the station while an operation is in progress. Click here for more details.


The RNLI in Dun Laoghaire Lifeboats have been based on Dublin Bay for more than 200 years and this service is one of the oldest in the world. The RNLI is a charity operated locally by volunteers with the support of professional staff experts. The RNLI has one primary aim: to save lives at sea.
For Emergencies at sea: Dial 999 or 112 and ask for Marine Rescue
For routine calls: Dun Laoghaire Station: + 353 1 280 2667
dun-laoghaire@rnli.org.uk
RNLI Divisional BaseAirside
Swords
Co Dublin
Telephone + 353 1 8951800
Fax + 353 1 8951801
Location The Lifeboat Station
Harbour Road
Dun Laoghaire
Co. Dublin
Ireland