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

Remembrance Sunday

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It will come as no surprise to most RNLI supporters to learn that Scarborough lifeboat's remembrance service on Sunday has been cancelled.
Scarborough RNLI will instead have a presence at the town's main service on Oliver's Mount, starting at 10.50am.
It will be a slimmed-down version with everyone standing apart, no singing, no free buses and wreathes laid one at a time, after the two-minute silence, says organiser Steve Jewell.
The standard bearers will include Scarborough lifeboat crew member Kev Roberts, who will be joined by several others from the local RNLI team.
Anyone who watches a ceremony outdoors must follow safety measures, including observing the rule of six and social distancing rules. They should expect to be asked by event organisers for contact details to enable track and trace, if necessary.
* There is a glimmer of hope that Scarborough RNLI's annual ECJR memorial service at St Mary's Church on 6 December will still go ahead. If the lockdown has finished on time, a pared-back commemoration, remembering crew members who died in service, could be streamed live.

Posted Thursday 05 November 2020 10:30 am by

Queen's Birthday Honour for Scarborough RNLI water safety pioneer

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Scarborough RNLI fundraiser and founder of the Andrew McGeown Legacy Fund, Donna Loveland, has received a British Empire Medal in the Queen's Birthday Honours, in recognition of her outstanding work in fundraising and water safety.

In February 2015 Andrew McGeown, aged 32, lost his life after entering the North Sea in Scarborough's South Bay whilst attempting to save his dog, Arnold. Donna set up the Andrew McGeown Legacy Fund in his name, with the intention of funding the Swim Safe programme in her local area.

Swim Safe was created by Swim England and the RNLI in 2013 to help children aged 7 to14 stay safe while enjoying swimming outdoors through practical sessions offering vital water safety skills, free of charge. From with a single scheme in Cornwall, Swim Safe has grown into a national programme, spanning 30 sites across the UK and helping thousands of children learn how to stay safe in the water.

Swim Safe was established in Scarborough in 2015. Since then, more than 4,500 children have taken part in sessions at Scarborough and Bridlington. Donna's tireless dedication has seen her raise over £45,000 for the Andrew McGeown Legacy Fund and Swim Safe whilst also promoting water safety and the dangers of the coast through local awareness campaigns, marketing and school visits.

The birthday honours, which are usually announced in June, have been delayed this year due to the pandemic.

Upon hearing the news of the honour, Donna said: 'It was a real shock, but also a nice surprise that I will be receiving the British Empire Medal. Fundraising in my brother's memory has given my family a positive focus after Andrew's death.

'The Swim Safe programme has been very successful. It's a pleasure to be able to deliver such a valuable programme, and hopefully we will save many lives through the educational sessions. Andrew will always be remembered and loved thanks to the great legacy created with RLNI and Swim England and everyone who has supported us.'

RNLI Chief Executive, Mark Dowie said: 'It is such a delight to see Donna recognised for her hard work and commitment, particularly as we near the end of such a challenging year. Her story truly represents the RNLI values through her dedication, support and courage, helping to keep thousands of children safe along the Yorkshire coast. On behalf of everyone at the RNLI, I send Donna my heartfelt congratulations and gratitude.'

Ashley Jones, Water Safety and Drowning Prevention Manager at Swim England, said: 'Donna's enthusiasm and selflessness are an inspiration to many. She has thoroughly earned this accolade for her commitment to saving lives on the Yorkshire coast, from raising tens of thousands of pounds for the Andrew McGeown Legacy Fund to delivering the Swim Safe programme in Scarborough and Bridlington. Donna continually goes above and beyond to enable thousands of youngsters to benefit from free Swim Safe sessions.'

'I am proud and privileged to work alongside such a committed volunteer and everyone at Swim England is thrilled she has been recognised with this deserving honour.'

Posted Friday 09 October 2020 10:32 pm by

Training at sea returns

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images by Kay Jackson and Erik Woolcott

Under strict COVID guidelines, the crew of Scarborough Lifeboat are back to training at sea once again.
As part of last nights All-weather Lifeboat exercise, six white parachute flares were set off in Scarborough North Bay.
White parachute flares are used to light areas for searches and for collision avoidance. They reach a height of around 300 metres and burn for approximately 30 seconds as they descend .
The Coastguard were informed prior to the firing of the flares.
The flares that were used during the exercise were nearing the end of their expiry date.
Red flares are used for signalling distress and the coastguard should be called immediately on 999 should you ever see one fired at sea or along the coast.
If you see anyone injured or in distress on the coast, dial 999 and ask for the coastguard.

Posted Thursday 08 October 2020 07:22 am by

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