Atherfield Lifeboat Station was opened in November 1890 when the lifeboat "Catherine Swift" was stationed there following the wreak of the 'Sirenia' in 1888 on Atherfield Ledge. Mrs. Catherine Swift, late of Lowcliffe, Chale and No. 7, Essex Villas, Kensington had left £700 to the National Lifeboat Institution for a lifeboat at Atherfield.
With the English Channel reaching to the base of the cliffs, and no track-way down to the beach, the lifeboat had to be housed at the top of the cliffs. The boat was housed in a corrugated boathouse and was launched down a steep (1 in 3) 250ft long ramp into the sea. It was recovered using a winch mounted at the boathouse to haul the lifeboat up the ramp.
The station was closed in 1916.
- Isle of Wight County Press - 19 July 1890