The first lifeboat was stationed at Buddon Ness in 1830 by the River Tay Lifeboat Society. Another lifeboat was placed at Broughty Ferry in 1859.
Both stations were subsequently taken over from the local Lifeboat Committee by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution in 1861. The Buddon Ness Station was rarely used and the descision was take in 1894 to close it, with all rescues thereafter to be undertaken from the Broughty Ferry Station.
More details of the Broughty Ferry Lifeboat Station can be found on the RNLI website. The RNLI is a charity which exists for the purposes of saving lives at sea and raises funds to pay for the lifeboats through charitable donations.
The first lifeboats at Buddon Ness were operated by the River Tay Lifeboat Society but funded through a tax levied on vessels entering the river but even before the first official lifeboat in 1830 there are records of rescues having taken place: In 1828 a Daniel Kidd was awarded a Silver Medal and £10 to him and eight other men for the rescue of three of the crew of the schooner Fancy which was wrecked off Broughty Ferry on 9th February 1828.
Another Silver Medal was awarded to Coxswain James Coull and Bronze Medal to Acting Second Coxswain George B Smith and Motor Mechanic John Grieve aboard the Lifeboat Mona. This was for the rescue of nine from the steam trawler Quixotic which had run aground onto the Bell Rock on 5th December 1939. (Due to the outbreak of the 2nd World War the Bell Rock Lighthouse was not illuminated). Weather that night was poor with high seas and squalls of sleet adding to the danger of the reef itself
The Lifeboats which have been stationed here are:
Buddon Ness Lifeboat Station:
1830-1863: Unnamed lifeboat
Broughty Ferry Lifeboat Station:
1862 - Mary Hartley
1867 – Mary Hartley II
1876 – English Mechanic
1888 – Samuel Shawcross
1910 – Maria
1921 – John Ryburn
1935 – Mona
1959 – City of Bradford II
1960 – The Robert
1978 – Spirit of Tayside
1999 – Joseph Rothwell Sykes and Hilda M
2001 – Elizabeth of Glamis
In addition there have been a number of "D" class inshore lifeboats stationed at Broughty Ferry since 1964
In addition to the lifeboats - the station at Broughty Ferry is also home to "Oor Lifesaver" - a five foot tall statue of Oor Wullie in RNLI attire. Oor Wullie is an iconic Scottish comic strip character and the statue was purchased by the station thanks to a community crowdfunding project.
The images on this page show the Broughty Ferry Lifeboat in April 2020. The building and boat were floodlit in blue as part of a campaign to highlight the activities of Key Workers during the Coronavirus lockdown in 2020. During that lockdown period the Broughty Ferry Lifeboat's volunteer crew continued to respond to numerous incidents at sea and in the River Tay.