Scarborough RNLI

Saving lives around Scarborough's seas since 1801

Articles Archive

‘This station project heralds an exciting era in Scarborough RNLI's rich and long lifesaving history. ’ Andrew Ashton, RNLI Divisional Operations Manager

Garforth fundraisers rewarded

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Garforth fundraisers rewarded for two centuries of support for RNLI
Fundraisers from the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) Garforth branch who've racked up a combined 200 years volunteering are receiving a series of long service awards from the charity - and the heartfelt thanks of the stations they've supported.
The five volunteers will receive three 40-year and two 30-year medals in recognition of their outstanding contribution to the charity's fundraising efforts.
Chair Christine Pitchfork and Secretary Mary Small have volunteered for 41 years (Mary at Cardiff branch for the first six), while Barrie Dodsworth recently stood down after 47 years fulfilling roles including Treasurer, Vice-chair, Souvenir Secretary and Education presenter. Current Treasurer Glynnis Huntington (36 years) and Souvenir Secretary John Huntington (35 years) complete the double century.
Garforth branch was formed in 1966. Its current membership of 13 raise around £10,000 per year for the RNLI. Before Covid-19 restrictions took hold, their activities included holding coffee mornings, race nights, selling souvenirs, home-made cakes and preserves, plant sales with plants grown by green-fingered members and street collections. Two education presenters also give talks on the work on RNLI and water safety to local schools, youth and adult groups.
The branch has held special events to support RNLI stations including Amble, Scarborough, Flamborough and Withersea, provided new kit and equipment for lifeguards at Bridlington and, along with the help of local schools, contributed towards new life jackets for Filey.
Christine Pitchfork, chair of RNLI Garforth branch, said 'It is a tremendous achievement and honour for a small inland branch to have five members receiving well deserved awards, recognising their dedication, enthusiasm, hard work and support towards the vital work of the RNLI.
John Ward, spokesperson for RNLI Filey, said 'We and our sister stations up and down the coast would like offer our congratulations to the five members of Garforth branch on reaching this incredible milestone.
'The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Without the passion and dedication of volunteer fundraisers like Christine and her team we wouldn't be able to continue to save lives at sea.'

Posted Saturday 03 October 2020 09:49 am by

Laden Lasses fundraisers visit Scarborough

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'The Laden Lifeboat Lasses' stopped at Scarborough Lifeboat Station on their tour of 100 RNLI lifeboat stations by bicycle to raise vital funds to allow us to continue to save lives at sea.
On 7 September, they set off from Poole Lifeboat Station on a 1,500 mile journey around the coast and up to Scarborough. From here they caught a train to Liverpool before heading back down (and around!) the coast of Wales, finally finishing in Minehead at the beginning of October.
Thank you to Beth and Kate for all your efforts and the best of luck for your onward journey!
You can support Beth and Kate by donating via their Just Giving page at

Posted Saturday 03 October 2020 09:48 am by

ILB called to rescue in harbour

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Photo by Nathan Williams

At 1:40 pm on Monday 28 September, Scarborough's inshore lifeboat launched with a volunteer crew of three tasked to assist a man in the water in the outer harbour.
It was reported that he had slipped down between two boats whilst attempting to climb from one to the other and was not wearing a lifejacket. Luckily, by the time the lifeboat arrived on scene, the man had been recovered onto one of the boats and was in the care of the Yorkshire Ambulance Service.
The inshore lifeboat and her crew provided safety cover as the man was escorted back up the ladder and onto the pier. Other than being quite cold, he sustained no injuries.
'It's incredibly important to wear a lifejacket when in and around the harbour.' says inshore lifeboat helm, Jason Hedges, 'Accidents can and still do happen even when you're not out in the open sea. An appropriate, regularly serviced, and well-fitted lifejacket is the difference between life and death but is useless unless it's worn.'
For more information on choosing and fitting an appropriate lifejacket, please visit
If you see anyone injured or in distress on the coast, dial 999 and ask for the coastguard.
The RNLI is the charity that saves lives at sea.

Posted Saturday 03 October 2020 09:44 am by

Jet skiers rescued by volunteer ILB crew

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Image by Wayne Hart

On 5 September at 12:15 pm, Scarborough's inshore lifeboat launched with a volunteer crew of three tasked to assist a jet ski with two persons on board in North Bay.
The jet ski had suffered engine failure and had started to drift out to sea with the tide. A member of the RNLI Lifeguard team had paddled out on a rescue board to the stricken craft to offer assistance.
Once on scene, the lifeboat and her crew transported all persons back to the safety of the beach before taking the jet ski under tow which had drifted nearly two miles out to sea by the time the operation was complete.
The jetski was well prepared for sea safety carrying a VHF radio and flares and the crew of two were wearing appropriate lifejackets. The RNLI recommends all watercraft to carry this equipment to call for help and to survive at sea if and when the need arises.
'If you're out at sea, whether that's for pleasure or work, always make sure you have a way of calling for help.', recommends inshore lifeboat helm, Rob Gaunt. 'Take the time to check your equipment, the tides and weather, and the local area, and if things still go wrong - we'll be there to help'.

Posted Monday 07 September 2020 06:17 pm by

Feline rescued when yacht snared in pot lines

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It has emerged that the third crew member aboard a yacht rescued by Scarborough lifeboat this week was a cat.
Artie, seen here in his feline lifejacket, snoozed quietly through the dramatic mission to rescue the yacht. It was snared on lobster pot-lines six miles north of town early on Monday morning.
"The cat was asleep in its cage but the door was open", reported Paul Huggins, who boarded the yacht to cut one of the lines. "It was just quite happy in its bed".
Now Artie's owners - or is it the other way round? - have contacted Scarborough RNLI to express their appreciation. "We can't thank you enough for all your help at silly o'clock in the morning", said Tim and Row Heale.
"Sorry to have got you out of bed but, hey, cheers guys, we really appreciate your help and genuine attitude to helping those in need.
"We contacted the coastguard with our position when we found ourselves immobilised, as our radar showed large commercial vessels approaching us, albeit at a distance", Row recalls. "We had sailed non-stop from Inverness when we found ourselves in trouble and the crews from RNLI Scarborough came to our assistance.
"We have made an online donation to the RNLI. Our meagre contribution probably wouldn't cover your pager bill let alone the boats' fuel bill, but from our hearts, and Artie the ship's cat, we thank you".
Tim and Row are members of the Army Sailing Association and the Royal Yachting Association. They keep their boat, Hallberg Rassy 36 Talavera, at the Hornet Services Sailing Club in Gosport, where they live.
Artie is a British short-haired smokey grey. He has a passport and all his inoculations are up to date. He's well travelled and has been sailing since he was a 12-week-old young kitten.
Row says: "He's now into his second life jacket - he outgrew the first one - and he loves going ashore in the dinghy or our kayak".
Being a cat, Artie avoids water but once got his tail wet when Tim and Row forgot to put his lead on the extended setting, when leaping onto a pontoon. "He went donk mid-flight into the oggin, but he was hooked out to safety immediately", Row says.
"Don't be fooled by his grumpy look, he loves being on board".
The couple's favourite places to sail are around Denmark, Sweden, Norway and the Baltic. "But this year, due to Covid-19 and quarantine regulations, we are sailing clockwise around the UK, anchoring as much as possible and only going ashore for water, food supplies or to wait for gales to abate".

Posted Saturday 29 August 2020 09:49 am by

Big yacht caught in lobster pot lines rescued by both RNLI boats

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Both Scarborough RNLI lifeboats launched last night when a big yacht sailed into lobster pot-lines six miles north.

It was an overcast, dark night with no moonlight so the yacht had no chance of spotting the white canisters floating on the surface without a light or a flag.

The all-weather Shannon lifeboat crew used a grappling hook to pull close to the beleaguered vessel, which was sailing from Inverness to Lowestoft.

A crew member boarded the craft and managed to cut one of the pot-lines loose, releasing the propeller. But a second one was inaccessible, being trapped under the hull while jamming the rudder.

The lifeboat escorted the 12m yacht close to shore while summoning its smaller partner, the inshore lifeboat, whose crew were able to reach low enough to cut the propeller free.

The Shannon launched at about 10.30pm, followed by the inshore lifeboat at about 12.40am. The lifeboat crews - six on the Shannon, three on the lifeboat and four on shore - were finished by 3am. The sea was calm with a light swell.

Posted Monday 24 August 2020 04:42 pm by

Charity Bike Ride Raises Vital Funds for Scarborough Lifeboat

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The Leeds Arms in Scarborough and the Marauding Riders complete charity bike ride in aid of Scarborough Lifeboat and Motoneurons Disease.

The Marauding Riders cycled the 50 miles from Acaster Malbis to Scarborough lifeboat station raising £725.50 in aid of the RNLI.

The crew of Scarborough Lifeboat Station would like to personally thank all involved for their incredible efforts and for raising vital funds allowing us to continue to save lives at sea.

'These funds will go towards our continued effort in keeping people safe from the dangers of the sea. Donations help pay for lifesaving equipment, training, the day to day running of the station and much more. It's charitable donations like this that keep the RNLI doing what it does best - saving lives at sea', said Coxswain, Lee Marton.

Our volunteer lifeboat crews provide a 24-hour rescue service in the UK and Ireland, and our seasonal lifeguards look after people on busy beaches.

RNLI crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives since 1824 but we're more than a rescue service. We influence, supervise, and educate people too. Our Community Safety teams explain the risks and share safety knowledge with anyone going out to sea or to the coast. And our international teams work with like-minded organisations to help tackle drowning in communities at risk all around the world.

Posted Monday 24 August 2020 11:40 am by

North bay rescue

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photos by Will Watts and Kay Jackson

A man with a sprained ankle was rescued by Scarborough RNLI last night (11 Aug).

The inshore lifeboat, with a crew of three, launched at 7.15pm and headed north to a point on the rocks halfway between Jackson's Bay and Scalby Ness.

The casualty was being attended to by coastguards who had strapped him into a stretcher but were unable to extricate him, on an incoming tide.

He was taken aboard the lifeboat which dropped him off at the slipway by the Sands, where he was met by other coastguards.

The photos (by Will Watts and Kay Jackson) show the casualty being treated and placed in the lifeboat on the rocks then being taken from the lifeboat to shore in the north bay.

A Scarborough RNLI spokesperson said: "Everyone on the coast should have a plan - check the weather forecast, tide times and read local hazard signage".

And please remember:

* Keep a close eye on your family - on the beach and in the water; don't allow your family to swim alone; don't use inflatables.

* If you fall into the water unexpectedly, FLOAT TO LIVE. Fight your instinct to thrash around, lean back, extend your arms and legs and float.

* Always visit an RNLI lifeguarded beach if you can -

Posted Wednesday 12 August 2020 09:56 am by

Paddleboarders rescued in Cayton Bay

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On Tuesday 4 August at 12:10 pm, the inshore lifeboat launched with a volunteer crew of three tasked to assist a family in difficulty in Cayton Bay.
The family of three were stand-up paddleboarding when an offshore wind started to take them out to sea. A SUP instructor from the nearby watersports centre tried hard to help but was not able to get out to the family.
The inshore lifeboat collected the family and delivered them safely to the beach where Humber Coastguard was waiting with hot drinks and blankets.
Offshore winds are winds blowing from the land and out to sea. These can be particularly dangerous for inflatables as they can be pushed by the wind out to open sea very quickly which also makes it incredibly difficult to paddle back to shore.
The RNLI offers the following advice to paddleboarders...
* tell someone where you're going and when you'll be back
* wear your leash so you don't lose your board
* launch and recover between the black and white flags
* check the weather forecast and tide times
* consider other water users - learn surf etiquette and
rights of way
* find a quieter spot if the line-up is really busy.
* go alone
* leave without a signalling or communication device
* paddle in offshore winds without safety boat cover
* underestimate the forces of nature but be aware of
your environment
* ditch your board - it will keep you afloat in an emergency
and make you easier to find
* get on the water in conditions above your capability.
If you or your children are struggling in the water, remember: FLOAT TO LIVE.
If you see anyone injured or in distress on the coast, dial 999 and ask for the coastguard.

Posted Wednesday 05 August 2020 08:14 am by

Ten year old rescued in south bay by ILB crew

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At 7:02 pm on Friday 31 July, Scarborough's inshore lifeboat with a volunteer crew of three launched to assist Humber Coastguard and North Yorkshire Police in the search of a 10-year-old who'd been missing in the sea in South Bay for nearly an hour.
The boy had been reported missing near Scarborough Spa. A shoreline search was conducted by the lifeboat crew and recovered the boy near Vincent Pier after having been swept by the tide and wind nearly the entire distance across South Bay.
He was found floating on his back in the water with his arms and legs spread shouting for help - precisely the advice that the RNLI gives to anyone in the water needing assistance.
Lee Marton, Coxswain at Scarborough Lifeboat Station, takes up the story: 'We were told that he'd been watching lifeboat rescues on the BBC documentary Saving Lives at Sea and had followed the advice given on the show.
'We're very much in awe of this incredible lad, who managed to remain calm and follow safety advice to the letter in terrifying and stressful circumstances. Had he not, the outcome might have been very different.'
The boy was escorted to the lifeboat station where he was reunited with his family before being taken for a precautionary check-up at Scarborough Hospital by the Yorkshire Ambulance Service.
If you or your children are struggling in the water, remember: FLOAT TO LIVE.
If you see anyone injured or in distress on the coast, dial 999 and ask for the coastguard.

Posted Saturday 01 August 2020 09:21 am by