Sunday 8th March 2020

Newbiggin Volunteer Celebrates International Women's Day

A new crew member at Newbiggin had their first sea training on International Women's Day.

 Jess Harvey, one of the volunteers at Newbiggin, was at sea for the first time today which coincided with this special international day. Jess already has sea experience in her employment with Carnival Cruises where she is part of the Youth Staff team.

Jess in commenting on her sea training today said 'I really appreciate the support and learning opportunities available to me at Newbiggin lifeboat station. Today was my first training exercise at sea and it was enjoyable working with other volunteers on station.'

Whilst Jess is part of the operational team we also have a valuable group of ladies in our fundraising team who play an equally important role in raising funds for the vital sea rescue operation.

For generations, women have launched lifeboats, heaved people out of the water and fundraised millions to help keep the charity afloat. Women have played a hands-on role in lifesaving since the RNLI was formed in 1824.

Twenty-two women have been awarded Medals for Gallantry by the RNLI. Nineteen of these medals were presented in the 19th century, awarded to women who rescued or helped to rescue those in peril on the sea.

One of those women is Grace Darling, from the Victorian era. In 1838, she risked her life rowing to rescue the stranded survivors of the wrecked steamship Forfarshire. She was the first woman to be awarded an RNLI medal.

Other lifesaving heroes are less well known. Like May Stout Hectorson Moar, who saved two men who had capsized in a boat off the Shetland Islands in 1858. She attached a rope to herself and climbed down a cliff to throw a lifebuoy to the men. May hauled them through the surf, safely to the shore.

And then there’s the seriously impressive Margaret Armstrong who helped at every single launch of Cresswell lifeboat, saving lives for 50 years – until her death in 1928. You can learn about these women and others like them in Sue Hennessy’s book, Hidden Depths.

At Newbiggin our women have a special place in history with our women lifeboat launchers been the most decorated in lifeboat history receiving a vellum award in 1927 and again in 1940 for their meritorious service during difficult rescues.


Sunday 5th January 2020

Four Legged Heros

Members of the Bedlington Terrier North East group and their terriers were welcomed at a recent visit to Newbiggin lifeboat station.

More details to follow


Sunday 5th January 2020

Christmas Lights Donation

 Local lifeboat supporters  Marc and Debbie Turnbull presented a generous donation following their fundraising initiative.

This successful  lifeboat fundraising team came along to present a cheque to Newbiggin lifeboat station today for £1020 following a well supported Christmas lights fundraiser.

The work to deck out their Ashington home had taken over a week to complete and judging by the many positive comments it has been worth it.

Marc and Debbie's interest in Newbiggin RNLI follows a rescue undertaken over 20 years ago and over that time regular donations and  fundraising has taken place.


Thursday 26th December 2019

Another Massive Newbiggin Boxing Day Dip

Hundreds of competitors braved the chilly North Sea to enjoy the annual Newbiggin Boxing Day Dip despite poor weather conditions including strong winds and rough seas.

The large crowds estimated to exceed 1000 on the beach and over 200 hardy souls who braved the sea were up on last year's count  thanks to this established tradition of Boxing Day which was begun during the 1980's by the Ashington Lions. The throng of Boxing Day dedicated and resilient dippers, in an array of brightly coloured costumes and attires, were huddling on a chilly beach then at 11.00am as they sprinted into the freezing sea watched by the hundreds of spectators on the beach and promenade. After a few minutes in the sea the dippers all eventually retreated, up into the care of their respective groups for drying off and to reflect on their successes.

The event was organised by Newbiggin RNLI lifeboat station and has raised over £1330 today in donations for the RNLI that were realised through generous support via sponsorship together with other donations. The Newbiggin Ladies Fundraising Team volunteers also had a busy morning providing refreshments that were served during the morning from the lifeboat station. Meanwhile on the beach Newbiggin's lifeboat volunteers along with the local Coastguard teams from Newbiggin and Blyth marshalled and controlled the event on the beach with the lifeboat at sea providing seaward safety cover. Newbiggin lifeboat to provide the essential event seaward safety cover. Apart from money raised for the RNLI a multitude of other charities were represented at the event and they will benefit from considerable support also.

On behalf of Newbiggin Lifeboat Station can I pass on my thanks for everyone who made this event such a success and we look forward to welcoming you again next year.


Thursday 19th December 2019

Call to stranded angler

Lifeboat volunteers from Newbiggin were called out to a stranded angler following concerns for his safety.

The request for assistance came in around 7.20pm when the solo angler was seen on the Newbiggin north breakwater fishing during the fast flowing tide and rough seas. The access to the breakwater was now cut off due to the rising tide with the only safe extraction option using the lifeboat.

Newbiggin's B class lifeboat 'Richard Wake Burdon' was quickly launched with four volunteer crew on board arriving off the breakwater within seconds. The lifeboat was brought up to the rocky structure to safely transfer the angler on board then returned to station.

The angler was checked over and handed into the care of the local coastguard rescue teams who had been dealing with an earlier incident in the area. They offered the appropriate safety information regarding the dangers of fishing at this location with such rough sea conditions and a flowing tide.


Christmas Lights Event

An Ashington house is lit up to raise funds for Newbiggin lifeboat station.

Hundreds of people gathered in the street despite poor weather conditions to support the lighting display turned on and after a countdown the area was lit up, the inflatable Santa's came to life and the crowds cheered.

Refreshments were well received and all money raised on the night and in the garden collecting bucket will be donated to the RNLI at Newbiggin.

The work to deck out Marc's home has taken over a week to complete and judging by the many positive comments on the night it has been worth it. Last year Marc and Debbie raised around £800 with the Christmas lights and he hopes to exceed this amount.

Mark and Debbie's interest in Newbiggin follows a rescue undertaken almost 20 years ago and over that time regular donations and fundraising has taken place to support the station.


Newbiggin Lifeboat Christmas Fair

Today's Christmas fair raised over £1000 over a busy Sunday afternoon

Autumn brightness brought out many supporters for the Newbiggin Lifeboat Christmas Fair earlier today which took place in the boathouse. The event began with traditional Christmas carols performed by the Choir by the Sea group which was well appreciated, a welcome preamble to this established event. A cheque for £100 was presented to the Choir by Gail Penman on behalf of the Newbiggin Community Fundraisers from money raised over the last three months.

Hot drinks along with a plentiful supply of donated cakes all round, together with the tombola and bric-a-brac sale helped along brisk sales.

Many thanks to everyone who supported the Newbiggin Lifeboat Fundraising team on the day as well as those who donated and baked for the event. After counting up today over £1,000 was raised with further money still to come in. The Christmas raffle sold out and whilst a few of the prizes have been claimed further details of the winners are posted outside the boathouse and in local shops.

Anne Main Chair of the Newbiggin lifeboat fundraising team said' on behalf of the volunteers at Newbiggin lifeboat station can I send out a big thank you to everyone who has made this local fundraising event such a huge success, it is greatly appreciated by us all.'

The final fundraiser for 2019 is the Boxing Day Dip on 26th December, registration before 10.30am ready for the Dip at 11.00am. People raising funds for other charities are welcome to take part in our event. For more details and how to get a registration form please contact 01670 817320 or email Further information on this event will be advertised early in December.


Sunday 3rd November 2019

Newbiggin Great North Run Donation

Lifeboat supporters Debbie and Marc Turnbull visited the station today to present a cheque for £852.

Debbie and Marc have a long connection with Newbiggin lifeboat station continually supporting this important establishment and its volunteer team. This donation came about as a result of sponsorship for this year's Great North Run which occurred earlier in the year.

On behalf of everyone at Newbiggin thank you both for this continued support. 

Richard Martin


Sunday 13th October 2019

Generous Donation

Volunteers from Newbiggin RNLI lifeboat station welcomed family and friends of the late Bill Jefferis at the weekend.

The visit to the station was to present a generous donation amounting to £1060 to the lifeboat volunteer team.

The money raised was realised by a fundraising event at the Newbiggin Central Club where a raffle, domino cards and other table competitions. In addition local businesses including the 'Shaj Tandori' along with the 'New Butcher by the Sea' donated prizes for the fundraiser.

Our thanks go out to everyone who made this donation happen - it is really appreciated. Thank you.


Wednesday 28th August 2019

Lifeboat rescues two people from drifting inflatable 

The dangers of inflatables at sea were once again highlighted this week during an incident at Newbiggin-by-the-Sea.

UK Coastguard Humber Operations received a call of an inflatable with two persons on board in difficulty off the Church Point headland at Newbiggin-by-the-Sea. A fresh offshore wind was blowing which was compromising the safety of the inflatable and it’s two occupants as it was blown further out to sea.

The Coastguard requested the immediate launch of Newbiggin’s Atlantic 85 B class lifeboat Richard Wake Burdon to assist and recover the casualty. Newbiggin’s Coastguard Rescue Team were also tasked and took up position to locate and coordinate the lifeboat onto the casualty. The lifeboat was quickly on scene to find the drifting inflatable well out with the two persons on board suffering from the effects of the cold. The lifeboat returned to the bay where the two persons were checked over and treated following their ordeal with assistance from the coastguard who additional gave safety advice on the significant risks involved of using inflatable dinghies in the open sea.


Monday 26th August 2019

Lifeboat launches to sinking boat

Volunteers from Newbiggin RNLI lifeboat station received a call around 10.30am today from UK Coastguard at the Humber Operations Centre reporting a small boat and two persons in difficulty at the Sandy Bay caravan park area. 

Newbiggin's Atlantic 85 B class lifeboat 'Richard Wake Burdon'  was launched from the beach and arrived in the search area a few minutes later. Newbiggin Coastguard Rescue Team were also tasked to the incident. Once on scene, two persons were observed in the water at the north end of Sandy Bay along with a partially submerged vessel. The volunteer crew quickly recovered the two persons from the sea and checked them over for any adverse affects due to their time in the water. Assistance was given by the Coastguard team during the incident. With everyone safely accounted for the lifeboat secured the casualty vessel and brought it north to Newbiggin Bay.

The lifeboat, casualties and casualty vessel arrived safely back into Newbiggin Bay where the casualties were handed into the care of the Coastguard.

Newbiggin RNLI call after distress flares sighted

21 August 2019

The volunteer crew were paged by UK Coastguard Humber just after midnight on  along with Newbiggin Coastguard Rescue Team to a report of red flares off the River Wansbeck.

Newbiggin's Atlantic 85 B class lifeboat 'Richard Wake Burdon' was launched with four volunteer crew on board shortly afterwards and began the search.  The lifeboat carried out a thorough search of the Cambois Bay area while the Coastguard team searched the shore area.

After almost two hours of searching and nothing found the incident was closed.


Thursday 15th August 2019

Lifeboat launches to drifting inflatable

Newbiggin lifeboat was launched today following reports of persons getting blown out to sea.

Newbiggin lifeboat station was contacted early afternoon by UK Coastguard's Humber Operation Centre requesting the immediate launch of the lifeboat to a report of two persons in difficulty in the sea off Cresswell. Newbiggin's Atlantic 85 B class lifeboat 'Richard Wake Burdon' was quickly launched with four volunteer crew on board and headed north.

Newbiggin's Coastguard Rescue Team also were requested to attend to the incident.

Shortly after launching further information was received to say that the persons were safely ashore and the incident was closed.


Tuesday 13th August 2019

Lifeboat diverts from training for rescue

Volunteers from Newbiggin lifeboat station diverted from tonight’s training exercise to attend to a vessel requiring assistance.

Newbiggin’s Atlantic 85 B class lifeboat ‘Richard Wake Burdon’ diverted from the exercise to a small local fishing boat that had propulsion issues. The casualty vessel had been operating at the south end of Newbiggin Bay next to the reef when the problems occurred. Once alongside the four lifeboat volunteer crew set up a tow and brought the vessel safely to the beach then returned to the evening training.


Crossroads Donation to RNLI

Sunday 28th July 2019

Newbiggin lifeboat volunteers received a generous donation of £700 during their recent Lifeboat Day event. Mary Millar and Doreen Longstaff who work in the Crossroads Coffee shop in Ashington came along to present the cheque.

The money was raised since Easter 2019 from tips given at the shop.

The Crossroads team are very active in fundraising along with supporting local ventures and we are grateful that Newbiggin RNLI was chosen to benefit from their generosity.

Mark Hopkins Lifeboat Operations Manager for Newbiggin RNLI said ' we are very grateful to the team from Crossroads for coming along today and presenting us with this generous donation.'


Sunday 28th July 2019

Another record fundraising day at Newbiggin RNLI

Volunteers are celebrating at Newbiggin lifeboat station after another record day of fundraising realised over £5,000. 

After a week of extreme temperatures the afternoon had settled weather. Once again the boatpark had a variety of stalls giving brisk trade to hundreds of supporters who had come along for this major event in Newbiggin's summer calendar. Stalls including souvenirs, tombola, home made cards, nearly new, bric a brac, raffle and home made cakes enjoyed a roaring trade with stock cleared out. Elsewhere in the main arena there was live music by West Coast Band along with the local band Steel by the Sea. The Ladies fundraising team also kept the visitor's appetite for home made cakes and refreshments going throughout the afternoon within the boathouse as well as those wanting to escape the sun. Newbiggin Coastguard Rescue Team along with the 4X4 teams provided other displays around the boathouse area. A large array of handmade model lifeboats and fishing boats was also on display.

At sea Newbiggin lifeboat kept the visitors entertained with rescue demonstrations in the Newbiggin Bay area.

With the afternoon concluding the various raffles and competition results were announced with all prizes claimed on the day. A full list of winning tickets and prizes is on display outside the lifeboat station.

Anne Main Chair of the Newbiggin Ladies Lifeboat Fundraising Team commented ' on behalf of the volunteers at Newbiggin lifeboat station can I send out a big thank you to everyone who has made this local fundraising event such a huge success today, it is greatly appreciated by us all.'


Wednesday 18th November 2015


Two fishermen rescued off Northumberland Coast

Two fishermen whose boat sank off the Northumberland coast this morning have been rescued following a search operation involving four RNLI lifeboats. The alarm was raised by the crew of another fishing boat who spotted a man clinging to a lobster pot marker just before 9am today. They radioed for help after pulling him on board their vessel 'the Boy Liam'. Amble RNLI all weather and inshore lifeboats were launched to search for the second fisherman and Newbiggin and Seahouses RNLI lifeboats were later requested to join the search. After about an hour the Amble RNLI inshore lifeboat crew spotted the man on the beach at Coquet Island which is about a mile off the Northumberland coast.They recovered him onto the lifeboat and he was airlifted to hospital by a Coastguard helicopter. Amble RNLI Coxwain, John Connell said its thought the man managed to swim the short distance to the island after his boat overturned and sank this morning. He added: "These are two extremely lucky fishermen. The water is very cold and they were in the water some time but they did what they could to look after themselves until help arrived. We always hope for a positive outcome but we are all very, very relieved that the two fishermen have been found and we wish them well for a speedy recovery following their ordeal."

Friday 28th August 2015

Newbiggin lifeboat was launched to assist an angling boat which was unable to make the shore due to propulsion issues.The call from Humber coastguard came in at around 1.40pm when a request for lifeboat assistance was made. Shortly afterwards Newbiggin's Atlantic 85 lifeboat 'Richard Wake Burdon' was launched from the beach with four volunteer crew on board. On arriving at the casualty a tow was secured and the vessel with its two occupants was brought into the safety of the River Wansbeck moorings. With no further assistance required the lifeboat returned to station.


Monday 10th August 2015

Newbiggin's Second Call in 12 Hours

Volunteers from Newbiggin lifeboat station received a call earlier today to assist a local fishing coble. The call came in shortly before 8.00am when the Newbiggin coble 'Endeavour' requested assistance due to propulsion issues.
Newbiggin's Atlantic 85 lifeboat 'Richard Wake Burdon' was soon underway with four volunteer crew on board and headed north to Snab Point. Once on scene and with shore support from Newbiggin coastguard the lifeboat stood by whilst the coble problems were resolved.
With no further assistance needed the lifeboat returned to station and the incident was closed.

Sunday 9th August 2015

Volunteers were called out by Humber Coastguard tonight after it was reported that a 17 foot speedboat with four persons on board was drifting out to sea. The call came in around 7.20pm after the vessel, which had launched earlier in the evening from Newbiggin Bay ,had suffered engine failure and was drifting out to sea due to a fresh offshore breeze. Newbiggin's Atlantic 85lifeboat 'Richard Wake Burdon' was launched shortly afterwards from the beach and with four volunteer crew on board headed south to locate the casualty vessel with Newbiggin Coastguard overseeing the rescue from the shore. After ashort time Newbiggin lifeboat located the drifting speedboat Maggie-May with four persons on board a mile out to sea from Cambois. After checking the safety of the four persons on board the lifeboat volunteers secured a tow and headed north back to Newbiggin.By 8.15pm the vessel was safely brought to the beach with further help from lifeboat crew and coastguards.