The new St.Ives lifeboat JAMES STEVENS No.10 and her crew performed their first rescue mission on 6th November 1900. The lifeboat was launched to search for several overdue fishing vessels after the weather had deteriorated, a sudden squall had come through creating North Westerly gale force winds. Fortunately most of the fishing boats made it back to the harbour safely, however the Gig FORTITUDE was still unaccounted for. The lifeboat crew searched St.Ives Bay for over six hours until they learned that the FORTITUDE had not been so lucky, the Gig had been blown ashore and wrecked near Hayle Bar and there was only one survivor.

Less than five hours had passed before the services of the St. Ives lifeboat crew were required again. Distress rockets had been sighted in St.Ives Bay and the Ketch STAR was in difficulty due to the near hurricane force winds. The lifeboat crew chose to use the older and smaller EXETER (2) lifeboat for this rescue and it wasn’t long before they had rescued the three crew members. The STAR ended up being driven ashore on Porthminster Point and soon became a complete wreck.

Shortly after the excitement and drama of the STAR rescue and subsequent shipwreck had died down, the Lifeboat maroons sounded for a third time. A report of another Ketch displaying a distress signal was observed eight miles North of St.Ives. The lifeboat JAMES STEVENS No.10 was launched quickly and set off under sail, at the same time the Lugger RIPPLE also set off in order to offer assistance. The RIPPLE proved to be the faster vessel and reached the casualty vessel first. The vessel in distress proved to be the Ketch FOUNDLING, her sails having been destroyed by the gale force winds. The disabled vessel was towed back to St.Ives harbour and escorted by the lifeboat.

The St.Ives lifeboats had been launched three times in 24 hours and the lifeboat crew had spent over nine hours at sea. Six sailors had been rescued and one vessel saved from destruction.

Learn more about the amazing rescues that were performed by the St.Ives lifeboat JAMES STEVENS No.10 and her crew. Come aboard for a historic lifeboat trip around St.Ives Bay.