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

Scarborough lifeboat volunteers take part in Children in Need fundraising




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Scarborough RNLI had a starring role in the regional part of Children in Need last night.

A BBC film crew filmed Pudsey the bear on the Shannon lifeboat and crew joined the BBC crew at Woodend for a live broadcast (photo by Jim Rice).


The film of Pudsey on the lifeboat can be seen on and downloaded from Scarborough RNLI's Facebook page




Posted Saturday 16 November 2019 10:18 am by



Scarborough RNLI rembrance service 2019




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Hundreds of people attended the Remembrance Sunday service at Scarborough lifeboathouse.

They stood on the beach, on the West Pier, in the boathouse and on the launch slipway.

RNLI crew and other personnel lined one side of the slipway, facing veterans, standard bearers, wreath-carriers, coastguards and army, air and sea cadets.

Six standard bearers took part including Kev Roberts, carrying the Scarborough RNLI standard.

The service was jointly conducted by Rev Graham Morgan and Rev Pam Jennings. Colin Woodhead, who chairs Scarborough RNLI, made a reading. Music was played by organist Francis Appleby.

The wreaths were laid out at the lifeboathouse and taken up to the Oliver's Mount war memorial afterwards. They used to be laid on the sea from a small Sub-Aqua Club vessel, the Richard S. Biodegradable poppies are now laid on the sea, near the harbour entrance, instead.

The service was organised by Tom Fox.


Posted Sunday 10 November 2019 02:56 pm by



Scarborough lifeboat crew take part in poppycrosses planting




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Four Scarborough RNLI crew members took part in the annual ceremony for the planting of poppy crosses in the remembrance garden in Alma Square today.
Kev Roberts, who carried the Scarborough RNLI standard, was accompanied by Erik Woolcott, Mark Jenkinson and Ben Stonehouse.
After the ceremony, a parade though the town centre was led by the Band of the Yorkshire Volunteers.
On Remembrance Sunday, 10 November, Scarborough RNLI's service at the lifeboathouse will begin at 10.30am.


Posted Monday 04 November 2019 08:53 am by



New boat safety pack launched




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Scarborough RNLI has produced a safety pack, full of helpful advice for new boat owners.
The packs can be found at the harbour office, the marina facilities office on Vincent pier and the yacht club.
The free pack includes stickers, key rings, a lapel pin badge and leaflets about EPIRB registration, Solas V, GMDSS, lifejacket maintenance, VHF radio, basic engine checks and various safety issues.
EPIRB stands for emergency position-indicating radio beacon, which is a type of emergency locator beacon. It is a portable, battery-powered radio transmitter used in emergencies to locate planes, vessels and people in distress and in need of immediate rescue.
Solas V is a series of navigation safety regulations from the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea.
GMDSS stands for global maritime distress and safety system. This is an internationally agreed-upon set of safety procedures, types of equipment and communication protocols used to increase safety and make it easier to rescue distressed ships, boats and aircraft.


Posted Thursday 31 October 2019 03:27 pm by



65th rememberance service of 1954 disaster




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Words and photo by Dave barry RNLI press officer

Scarborough RNLI's annual memorial service takes place at St Mary's Church on Sunday 8 December.
The service marks the 65th anniversary of one of the worst disasters in the lifeboat's history.
Three crew died when the ECJR lifeboat overturned in the south bay in a terrible storm on 8 December 1954.
In atrocious conditions, with enormous waves and a howling gale, the lifeboat had been at sea all afternoon, escorting fishing boats back to the harbour.
With its rescue work complete, the ECJR was engulfed by waves and capsized close to the harbour mouth.
The deaths of coxswain Jack Sheader, second coxswain John Cammish and signalman Francis Bayes devastated their families and numbed the whole town with shock and grief.
Every year since then, the anniversary of the tragedy has been commemorated by a church service remembering those three in particular but also other lifeboat crew who have perished at sea. They include Frank Dalton, who died in a horrific accident in tumultuous seas on 9 December 1951.
The service is due to begin at 6.30pm.
The photos were taken at last year's ECJR service.

The story of that fateful day
One of the worst days in the history of Scarborough RNLI began with a storm brewing.
As it grew worse, the ECJR lifeboat was launched, at 11.40am on 8 December 1954, to help fishing boats known to be at sea.
In rough seas and a south-easterly gale, the lifeboat started by escorting the Venture, a coble with one man aboard, into the harbour.
Ten other fishing boats were known to be at sea, to the north, so the lifeboat went out again and eventually escorted all but three to safety.
At 3.20pm, the ECJR put out to sea again, to look for the missing boats.
By that time, the gale had become severe and was blowing against an ebb tide, causing steep, breaking waves up to 15ft high.
Heavy cloud, driving spray and sleet greatly reduced visibility.
News was then received that the three missing boats had all reached Whitby, so the ECJR was recalled.
The lifeboat headed for the harbour on a north-westerly course, with the wind and heavy seas astern, the crew streaming a drogue (anchor) astern to steady the boat.
Coxswain John Sheader and another crewman were at the wheel and slowly, carefully, worked the lifeboat closer and closer to the harbour entrance.
As a particularly heavy wave was seen coming up astern, the engines were eased right back, until the wave passed and then they were run at half-speed again.
At 4.45pm, as the lifeboat approached the harbour for the eighth time that fateful day, when it was only about 200 yards away from safety, a gigantic wave smashed right over the boat.
The coxswain, who saw it coming, shouted for the engines to be put into neutral and for everyone to "hang on!"
Almost completely submerged by the wave, the boat was driven forward for about 30 yards by a solid wall of water. The boat sheered to port. The next wave struck the boat on the port quarter. The ECJR capsized and both engines cut out immediately, as they were designed to do.
The lifeboat righted itself in seconds, with three crew members still aboard. Two others were quickly hauled back on board. But as they tried to grab the hands of second coxswain John Cammish, the heavy seas swept him from their grasp.
Cammish and Sheader were washed ashore shortly afterwards. They were rushed to hospital but died. Signalman Frank Bayes had received a severe blow to the forehead, possibly in the capsize, and his body was recovered a few hours later.
The ECJR received only superficial damage; the engines and radio continued to work perfectly.
Within 48 hours, a new crew had been formed, including all five survivors.
The survivors were Ernie Eves, Bob Crawford, Mickey Scales, Jitta Sheader and Allan Rennard.


Posted Thursday 31 October 2019 03:20 pm by



SwimSafe volunteer awards




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Photo by Jim Rice

Two members of the Scarborough RNLI team have been awarded with framed certificates recognising their dedication and hard work for the charity's annual Swim Safe campaign and the Andrew McGeown Legacy Fund.
Simon and Donna Loveland are pictured in the lifeboathouse with their certificates and daughter Ruby, 14, and Donna's brothers, Peter and Gary McGeown, and their parents, Peter and Julie McGeown.



Posted Thursday 31 October 2019 03:15 pm by



Rememberance Sunday service




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The Remembrance Sunday service at Scarborough lifeboathouse will be conducted by Rev Graham Morgan and Rev Pam Jennings on 10 November.
It will follow a Queen Street Central Hall service, which will begin at 9.30am. This will feature the blessing of standards and wreaths, a drumhead ceremony and poppies falling during the silence period.
Veterans, standard bearers, wreath-carriers, members of the lifeboat crew and coastguard team, army, air and sea cadets will then parade down to the harbour for the lifeboathouse service, beginning at 10.30am. High tide will be at 3pm so people should be able to stand on the beach.
Colin Woodhead, who chairs Scarborough RNLI, will make a reading. Music will be played by organist Francis Appleby.
The wreaths will be laid out at the lifeboathouse and taken up to the Oliver's Mount war memorial later. They used to be laid on the sea from a small Sub-Aqua Club vessel, the Richard S. Biodegradable poppies are now laid on the sea, near the harbour entrance, instead.
Both services are organised by Tom Fox.
* The photos are from last year's Remembrance Sunday service at the lifeboathouse.


Posted Tuesday 29 October 2019 08:34 am by



Shannon lauch to coble in harbour




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Scarborough RNLI didn't have far to go on its latest shout this morning.
The all-weather Shannon lifeboat launched at 8.15am to search for a device which is released when a vessel sinks.
The emergency position-indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) is a type of emergency locator beacon. It is a portable, battery-powered radio transmitter used in emergencies to locate planes, vessels and people in distress and in need of immediate rescue.
In an emergency, such as a ship sinking or a plane crashing, the device is activated and begins transmitting a continuous radio signal which is used by search-and-rescue teams to quickly locate the emergency and render aid.
Such a signal was picked up by the coastguard, which triggered the lifeboat launch. All that was known about the device's location was that it was within a mile radius of the harbour.
The Shannon's directional finding equipment indicated that the EPIRB was in the harbour. Every vessel was inspected until a crew member spotted the device's strobe light inside a small coble. There was no-one on the boat and the door was locked so the harbour office called the owner.
The EPIRB had not been registered. If it had, the RNLI would have known which boat it was on. The RNLI recommends that EPIRBs are registered before being fitted.


Posted Monday 21 October 2019 07:54 pm by



Runners return




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Scarborough RNLI's cross-country relay team returned to base this afternoon after running 145 miles from their lifeboathouse to Blackpool's.
A dozen crew members completed the run inside 24 hours, five less than they thought it would take.
On their return, they were greeted by colleagues who also showed visitors around the lifeboathouse.


Posted Monday 21 October 2019 07:46 pm by



A fantastic effort




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Huge congratulations to our amazing RNLI colleagues from Scarborough Lifeboat Station They have just completed a 145 mile non stop marathon. Running from Scarborough to Blackpool in under 24hours! A simply incredible fundraising effort


Posted Saturday 19 October 2019 10:50 am by