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RNLI promote January safety campaign

More fishermen die in January than in any other month of the year. That's the warning from lifeboat crews at the start of a new safety campaign to try to make fishing boats safer.

The RNLI says too many boat owners allow their vessels to become unstable - risking their lives and those of the people who may need to come to try and rescue them. James Webster has been to Bridlington to find out more:

Dawn of a new era for Scarborough's lifeboat

Scarborough's lifeboat has been launched this afternoon as part of a commemorative service for three crew members who died sixty years ago today.

Coxswain John Sheader, second coxswain John Cammish, and signalman Francis Bayes died when their lifeboat overturned as they tried to escort troubled fishing boats back to harbour in turbulent seas.

But today is also the start of a new era for Scarborough's lifeboat. Frazer Maude reports

Scarborough Lifeboathouse to be demolished

Scarborough RNLI is going afloat today to prepare for the demolition of the lifeboathouse.

The two lifeboats will be moored in the harbour while the lifeboathouse is demolished and a new one built.

Artists' impression of the new Scarborough lifeboathouse Credit: RNLI

Two temporary portacabins will be placed in a corner of the harbour for the crew to use as an office, changing rooms, etc.

Today's closure of the lifeboathouse coincides with the 60th anniversary of the capsize in 1954 of the lifeboat ECJR, near the harbour mouth while returning from service.

RNLI crewmembers from yesteryear Credit: RNLI

Coxswain Tom Clark and other RNLI personnel will mark the station closure with a short service beginning at 3pm to remember all those who have not returned to shore.

The lifeboat will launch for the final time from the lifeboathouse, which will soon be demolished and replaced. The crew will lay a wreath in the harbour mouth in memory of the three crew members who died in 1954: coxswain John Sheader, Francis Bayes and John Cammish.

A bagpiper will play a lament as one of the longest serving crew members, Peter Billingsley, lowers the RNLI flag. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Crew prepare for new Scarborough lifeboat house

Scarborough's lifeboat crew are getting ready to move out of their current lifeboat house. Today was the last full day before their vessel is kept afloat in the harbour for 18 months while the building is demolished and replaced with a new, larger base. James Webster reports.


Skegness RNLI rescue quad biker

Skegness RNLI's inshore lifeboat was called out when a quad biker got his bike stuck in mud on the beach at Gibraltar Point.

The RNLI"s three volunteer crew members launched just after 3pm yesterday and headed towards Gibraltar Point, four miles south of the lifeboat station.

The lifeboat arrived to find the male quad biker on the beach near his semi-submerged bike, close to the entrance of the river.

Lifeboat helmsman Joe Pieniak said he didn't think they would be able to recover the bike before it became completely submerged by the tide.

Joe said: 'When we arrived on scene we could only see the handlebars above the water. The bike was stuck solid in the mud and with the tide rising fast our initial thoughts were to abandon it and get the biker safely back to dry land.'

However, the crew worked quickly to attach a tow rope to the quad bike in an effort to salvage it and after several attempts were able to pull it free of the mud and recover it out of the water.

Crew members Will Watson and Craig Willard helped the biker push the bike back towards the sand dunes but with the rapidly rising tide they soon found they had been cut off.

The crew were left with no alternative but to abandon the bike and return to Skegness with the biker in the lifeboat.

Joe added: 'It was frustrating that we'd managed to free the bike from the mud only to find the tide had beaten us and we couldn't get it back to dry land. But the priority was always the biker, who was safe and well and reunited with his friends at the lifeboat station.'

RNLI mark 100 years since Rohilla rescue

A weekend of events marking one of the most dramatic rescues in the history of the RNLI finishes today.

Wreaths were lowered into the sea above the wreck. Credit: RNLI

Volunteers helped to save 144 lives of people on the First World War hospital ship the Rohilla which ran aground near Whitby on its way to Dunkirk to rescue soldiers.

As part of the centenary, on 30 October the RNLI tweeted a recreation of the day through the eyes of one of the survivors.

This weekend, 15 boats led by the Whitby RNLI all-weather lifeboat George and Mary Webb sailed to the site of the wreck at Saltwick Nab to allow RNLI volunteers and descendants of those who perished to lay wreaths and pay their respects.

There was a short service of remembrance on board the lifeboat, transmitted by loud speaker to the other boats, before the wreaths were lowered into the sea above the wreck.

RNLI volunteers lay a wreath for those who died on the Rohilla Credit: RNLI

Also in the flotilla was the restored rowing lifeboat William Riley, which 100 years ago was lowered down a cliff on ropes in an attempt to reach the Rohilla. Earlier today, the William Riley gave a rowing and rescue demonstration for the assembled crowds.

The William Riley was one of six RNLI lifeboats which took part in the Rohilla rescue. Also involved was the new motor lifeboat Henry Vernon, which travelled from Tynemouth and was the only vessel able to reach the last 50 survivors on board the stricken ship. People had been suspicious of motor lifeboats until then but this helped convince RNLI crews that they really were the future.

There was a short service of remembrance on board the lifeboat Credit: RNLI

This commemorative weekend has been a very long time in the planning and I’m proud that we have been able to pay a fitting tribute to both those who died and to those who struggled against all the odds to rescue the survivors. Fortunately, the weather was kind to us – we have had very different conditions to those experienced 100 years ago on board the Rohilla. It was very moving to be able to go out to the site of the Rohilla wreck and to remember just what it must have been like for the poor souls on board the stricken vessel, some of them waiting more than two days to be rescued. We must never forget stories like this one, or the people who died during one of the worst tragedies ever to take place off the Yorkshire coast.

– Whitby RNLI volunteer museum curator Peter Thomson MBE

New RNLI station planned for Cleethorpes

Plans for a new RNLI station on Cleethorpes Promenade will be put on display during an open afternoon, when people will have the chance to find out more about the charity’s proposals to enhance its lifesaving provision on the north Lincolnshire coast.

Artist's impression of the new RNLI Station

From 3pm, the plans will be displayed at the current RNLI lifeboat station. Representatives of the charity’s operations and engineering teams and members of Cleethorpes RNLI lifeboat crew will also be on hand to answer questions and provide more information.

The lifeboat station is needed to accommodate a new RNLI Atlantic 85 B Class inshore lifeboat, which will increase the lifesaving capacity of the Cleethorpes crew and will operate alongside their current, smaller D class inshore lifeboat.

The current lifeboat station is very small and doesn’t provide the modern facilities that our volunteer crew need or deserve.

The allocation of a larger Atlantic 85 lifeboat for Cleethorpes means it is crucial that we have a larger building to house all our lifesaving assets under one roof, making for a much more efficient rescue operation.

This will be a major investment by the RNLI in Cleethorpes.

– Michael Oakes, RNLI Divisional Operations Manager
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