Culture Victoria

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Port Fairy Historic Lifeboat Station

Griffiths Street Port Fairy Phone: (03) 5568 2632

Original buildings (lifeboat house 1862 and rocket house 1886), house an exceptional collection of maritime rescue equipment from the 19th and early 20th centuries. The collection includes a restored sea-going lifeboat, which was built at the Williamstown marine yard in 1857. A replica seaworthy whaleboat (built 1988, to Charles Beetle plan), is also managed by the Station and regularly sailed.

Our Collection

Approximately 150 items and 30 photographs. Collection relates to Port Fairy (Belfast) Lifeboat Station - a fine collection of 19th Century and early 20th Century maritime rescue equipment, including a restored and seaworthy 1857 lifeboat. A replica seaworthy whaleboat (b. 1988, to Charles Beetle plan),is also managed by the Station and regularly sailed.

The entire collection is registered by Heritage Victoria.

Significance
The lifeboat service is the earliest example of an organised voluntary service - pacing participants lives at risk ahead of shipwreck survivors. It also provided an important community activity for fisherman boat workers.

The Port Fairy Historical Lifeboat Station is intact - original lifeboat house and 1886 Rocket House with contemporary equipment. The lifeboat is the oldest Australian built vessel to a local design, using indigenous materials and its the earliest example surviving of the revolutionary self righting, self drawing vessel. It has been rebuilt to 1888 configuration and is taken to sea regularly.

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