By Tom McGlynn
SCARBOROUGH’S brand new £2 million Shannon class lifeboat has been unveiled to the public and is ready to be used at sea.
It will succeed the town’s current Mersey class lifeboat, which has served Scarborough at sea for over 25 years.
The boat has taken 11 years of hard work to plan and complete and can travel at 30 knots, 50 per cent faster than the boat it succeeded, because it has water jets instead of propellers.
RNLI Scarborough are hoping the boat will be able to save more lives, as it is much more agile, with lower sides to make it easier to pull people up on to the boat to rescue them.
A brand new lifeboat house has also been completed.
Huge crowds came to watch the new lifeboat enter Scarborough’s south bay on Sunday November 27.
David Barry, press officer for RNLI Scarborough, said: “After years of planning and preparation, everyone at Scarborough RNLI is delighted that our new lifeboat house has been completed and that our new Shannon lifeboat has arrived.
“Thousands of people turned out in the sunshine to watch the new £2m Shannon lifeboat arrive from RNLI HQ in Poole, where it was built.
“Emotional crew members felt a lump in the throat and perhaps even the odd tear as people waved goodbye to the Mersey, which returned to its harbour berth.”
John Mason, 70, from Filey, who used to work for the lifeboat service, said: “It’s always interesting to see the innovations that are going on to improve the boats, everyone gets behind them which is good to see.
“Not too long ago, rowboats were being used for this job, now they’re using all this new technology.
“When I was out on the lifeboat it could get freezing – these new boats are very manoeuvrable and keep the crew warm.”
The boat was funded by donations from the Frederick William Plaxton Charitable Trust.
Frederick William Plaxton was the founder of Plaxton LTD, a Scarborough-based coach-building firm that contributed to the funding of the lifeboat, which will be named in his memory.