Jason Logg on station Friendly Forester

The Flamborough Lifeboats

Will and Fanny Kirby Jason Logg

© Simon Robson

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"GERTRUDE" 1871 - 1887

This page was
last updated :

12th June 2005


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Total Service Calls: 4
Lives Saved: 0
People Assisted: Unknown
Vessels Saved: 0
Vessels Assisted: Unknown
Took Up Station: Nov 1871
Left Station: Sep 1887


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No. 2 Station Boats

Jane Hannah Macdonald Matthew Middlewood
St. Michael's Paddington
The first lifeboat to arrive at Flamborough number one station at North Landing was the "GERTRUDE". She was 33 feet long, had an 8 foot 6 inch beam and cost the princely sum of £293. This cost came from a legacy from the late Mr. John Staniforth Beckett of Tormoham, Devon and London. It is noted that this lifeboat had no Operational Number as this system of numbering lifeboats had not begun at the time she was built.

The lifeboat came to it station in November 1871 and went on sea trials on the 21st and 22nd of that month. The trials were undertaken in a strong wind with a moderate sea running. The crew satisfied themselves that the boat rowed and sailed well. In addition to the crew were the Inspector of Lifeboats, Captain J. R. Ward R.N. and Captain H. Steengraphe, Chief Inspector of the German Lifeboat Society.

The lifeboat's crew of thirteen were made up of a Coxswain, Second Coxswain, bowman and ten oarsmen. Carriages for the boat could not be employed because the beech was steep and rocky. Additionally between ten and twenty men formed the launching party. It was their job to manhandle the boat from the boathouse, down the slip, across the beach and into the water. The reverse was carried out recovering the lifeboat.

This class of lifeboat was totally open to the elements. They were constructed from two half inch thicknesses of mahogany. These were laid diagonally and opposing with copper rivets fastening them together. This construction meant the boats were natural self-righters. The boat had come from a design by Mr. James Peake, which was originally built at Woolwich Dockyard under sponsorship from the Government. Under the seats were air cases and in the extremities these were 4 feet long and came up to the gunwales, and coated in cork to prevent damage. A total of eight tubes passed through the deck with self-closing valves. These were designed to unload any excess water the boat might ship. The boat had a 7cwt cast iron keel, which was the main source of ballast. In total the boat weighed 46cwt unloaded, drew 15 inches of water and 18 with crew aboard.

With all these features the boat proved that it could right itself (when tested with a crane) in five seconds. She could entirely free herself of water, with no gear or crew aboard, in fifty five seconds. The boat showed tremendous stability and buoyancy when coming ashore through dumping surf without shipping any water.

The "GERTRUDE" stayed on station for nearly sixteen years until 1887. During this period she was launched on service a mere 4 times without any life saving services. The new lifeboat for the number one station was launched into Bridlington Harbour on Tuesday 12th September 1887. The event drew crowds in there hundreds. The old boat was lifted from the water and transported to Bridlington Railway Station. The lifeboat did have the last word as it was in collision with railings on the west end of the harbour, which caused an estimated £5 worth of damage.

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Helmsman - Flamborough Lifeboat Station