Since the start of commerce by sea, vessels and their crews have tragically come to grief along this treacherous coastline. Locals in the distant past were often only interested in saving the cargos from ship wrecks rather than the lives of mariners. During the 1800s people’s attitudes were changing and rescue and saving of life was deemed the correct and Christian thing to do. The newly formed charity the Royal National Lifeboat Institution allocated a lifeboat to the developing port and town of Porthcawl. Prior to this, rescue had been carried out by local boat men and crews of other vessels.
The local wealthy land owners the Knight family and business man William Weston Young individually had their own schemes for rescue of those in grave and imminent danger prior to the formation of the lifeboat service. The Reverend Knight put in place a device called a Manby mortar to fire a rescue line out to ships and Mr. Young was willing to put out to sea with local boat men to aid stricken vessels but some of his efforts gained him the title of looter and wrecker