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HISTORY

OUR LONG HISTORY AT SEA PALLING

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Since before the formation of the Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI), lifeboats have been operated from the Sea Palling station. As far back as 1840 two lifeboats owned by private companies were stationed here. The salvage value of ships that came to grief off these shores was used for the upkeep of the lifeboats and to supplement the income of the Palling beach-men.

In 1858 the Palling station came under the control of the RNLI and in 1870 a second station was established here. The achievements of the Sea Palling lifeboat service are now almost forgotten, yet when the station was closed in 1930 it had one of the finest records known to the RNLI. During this time the boat was launched 400 times and saved 795 lives. There were four silver gallantry medals and several commendations awarded to men of the Sea Palling lifeboat for bravery. Now a replica of the RNLI silver gallantry medal awarded to Tom Bishop is on show in St Margaret’s Church, Sea Palling.

In these times the boat was launched by a gang of work horses from the nearby farms before there were launch vehicles. It is said that when a flare was fired to alert the crews of a stricken vessel that the horses would make their own way to the station, arriving before the men.

During 1929 the service was reduced to one boat and the on the 16th January 1931 the station was closed, however in 1972, because of the increasing number of tourists visiting this area of the coast, several residents thought it prudent to provide an inshore lifeboat based at Sea Palling. This led to the present independent lifeboat being founded. Following much fundraising and hard work our first lifeboat ‘The Hearts of Oak’ was launched. After seven years of service this boat was replaced by the rigid hull inflatable (RIB) named ‘Leo’. Many local associations contributed towards its purchase including the Norwich lions Club. Leo was on service for over twenty years and carried out many rescues throughout the years.

HELP THIS VITAL SERVICE TO CONTINUE AT SEA PALLING