Village News

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Isis Gardens and Hayle's Lifeboat Isis

Hayle had its own lifeboat from 1866 until 1906.

Its first boat was the ‘Isis’.  A self-righter, thirty-two feet in length, pulling ten oars, paid for by Oxford University.
She carried out ten rescues saving fifty lives during her twenty-one years of service.

In 1887 ‘The New Oriental Bank’ later renamed ‘The F. H. Harrison’ replaced ‘Isis’. She was a thirty-two feet self-righter and her saddest service was to the ‘S.S. Escurial’, when she had to be taken overland to Portreath beach to be launched.
In spite of her best efforts only seven of the eighteen crew were rescued alive.

Hayle’s last lifeboat was ‘The Admiral Rodd’, a thirty-six feet self-righter which carried out only three rescues before the Hayle station was closed in 1907.

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution stationed a lifeboat at Hayle in 1866. A boathouse was built for it in 1897, but after it was closed in 1920, it was moved to a site near the power station where it was used as a store for about 60 years before being demolished. The first lifeboat was replaced in November 1887; the third and final boat, the Admiral Rodd arrived in 1906. 

Hayle’s first lifeboat is commemorated by the memorial in Isis Gardens, opened in 1995 under the viaduct at Foundry Square on the site of the town’s first railway station.

The funding provided, as stated here, the boat was first set out on the river at Oxford by the rowing eight;
it was then taken by Great Western and the other Rail companies, free of charge, to Hayle and paraded with great ceremony;
a boathouse was built on North Quay, in the little CCC quarry.

Isis was 32 x 7.5 x 3.5 feet; 10 oars, built 1866 by Forrestt of Limehouse.

Besides the lives saved as listed, she saved the ships

  • Nicholas Harvey in 1866
  • Lizzie in 1869
  • Vigilant in 1869
  • Bonne Adele in 1880
  • Constance 1881
  • SS Drumhendry 1882
  • Star of St Agnes 1882
  • Glynn 1885
  • Albert Wilhelm 1886
Hayle's first lifeboat - Isis