Background & History

  • There has been a lifeboat in Hope Cove since 1878. The original one was presented to the village by the Masons along with the original boathouse.  Between 1878 and 1930 it was used in numerous rescues, saving many lives.
  • Since 1960 the rescue boat has been managed by the Maritime Coastguard Authority.
  • During the last 50 years there has been a significant increase in the number of recreational craft enjoying the delights of Bigbury Bay including yachts, dinghies, power boats, kayaks, windsurf and paddle boards.
  • The rescue boat has played a huge role in helping to protect all these users from the dangers of the sea.
  • Over the last few years before 2010 there was considerable uncertainty about the future of the boat.
  • In the late summer and early autumn of 2010, there were negotiations between local people, MPs, representatives of the M.C.A and government ministers.
  • It was agreed that there was a definite need for a rescue service based at Hope Cove. The M.C.A. would fully support, help and work with an independently operated concern.
  • A public meeting in October 2010 resulted in unanimous support for the formation of an independently operated lifeboat service based in Hope Cove, similar to 63 others dotted around the coast line of Great Britain.
  • Following this meeting, directors/trustees and officers of the new company were elected. A proposal of how it would operate was sent to the M.C.A, and governing documents sent to Companies House for approval.
  • On 1st December 2010 “Hope Cove Life Boat” was registered as a limited company number 7456004.
  • January 2011 it was granted registered charity status, number 1140126.


The service became fully operational as a Designated Facility on the 21st May 2011 having completed all its testing and meeting every requirement of the MCA to be recognised as part of the Search and Rescue services for this region.

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