Sir William Arnold Lifeboat Experience at Heybridge Basin

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About

Now moored permanently in Heybridge Basin, Maldon, Essex, the Sir William Arnold lifeboat is a 52ft Arun class lifeboat that was built in 1973 and served all her lifesaving career at St Peter Port in Guernsey. During her career, the lifeboat went on 503 rescue missions and saved 224 lives.

It is now owned by Lifeboat 52-02, a Private Limited Company formed to preserve and promote a piece of British lifeboat and life-saving history, whilst educating the public. Volunteers are Lifeboat enthusiasts, and regular donations are made to the RNLI. The lifeboat can be seen from the quay at Heybridge Basin, with one-hour talks and tours talking place (see booking app on https://www.facebook.com/guernseyhero/).

One of the lifeboat's most famous rescues was in December 1981, when a mayday message was relayed from the 3,000 tonne Ecuadorian vessel “Bonita” which was listing heavily in the middle of the English Channel in Force 10 winds gusting to hurricane Force 12. There were 36 people on board, including women and children. Driving snow and sea spray reduced visibility to 200 yards for the lifeboat and the sea was very rough - whipping up waves of 50 feet. Rescue helicopters had managed to rescue four people in daylight but subsequent attempts failed due the conditions. During the next 3½ hours in darkness and in bitterly cold and hazardous conditions, the lifeboat made 50 approaches to take off the remaining survivors. 

​For his outstanding courage, superb seamanship, leadership and tenacity in this most difficult and arduous service, the RNLI’s Gold medal for gallantry was awarded to Coxswain Michael Scales, and the rest of his crew were awarded bronze medals for their courage, skill and perseverance, bronze medals were awarded to the crew..

Guide Prices

Talks and guided tours £12.50. Not suitable for under 10s. Maximum 10 people per tour

Map & Directions

Sir William Arnold Lifeboat Experience

Type:Museum - Maritime

Lock Hill, Heybridge Basin, CM9 4RX

Tel: 020 8168 5202

Opening Times

* Open for tours and talks, visit website for details

What's Nearby

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    0.02 miles away
  2. This waterway runs through a largely unspoilt part of rural Essex and connects the county…

    0.03 miles away
  3. This waterway runs through a largely unspoilt part of rural Essex and connects the county…

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  1. The little church building behind the bus shelter in Heybridge Basin began life during…

    0.22 miles away
  2. Lying alongside the sea wall and to the north of the Heybridge Basin's built-up area is…

    0.27 miles away
  3. One of the highlights of a walk around Promenade Park is to walk along the extension,…

    0.49 miles away
  4. The small lake at Promenade Park is perfect for model boating, and is regularly used by…

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  5. The World War Two Avenue of Remembrance at Promenade Park, beginning close to the boating…

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  6. Maldon's Promenade Park Beach Huts are located in the valley, with the Splash Park and…

    0.7 miles away
  7. Northey is an island in the Blackwater Estuary in Essex, connected to the mainland by a…

    0.7 miles away
  8. The Deckchair Hut, operated by The Maldon Deckchair Company is offering deckchair hire at…

    0.71 miles away
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