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200 Years of Lifeboat Services at Redcar

Courtesy of the Zetland 200 Website

In recent years the RNLI crew at Redcar have been assisted by the support and generosity of Peterborough people through various collections included the now annual bucket rattling at the Peterborough Beer Festival. Joseph Tierney, Press Officer, Peterborough Branch RNLI tell us more about the history of lifeboats at Redcar.

Gallant and courageous lifeboat crews of Redcar have risked their lives to save others for 200 years. Redcar and its lifeboat people and traditions are this year at the heart of months of celebration culminating on 7th October 2002 when they will remember a very important event in the history of maritime rescue which occurred 200 years ago to the day.

The present RNLI station at Redcar on the North East coast of England, facing the might and at times the terror of the North Sea, is served by two inshore lifeboats. The larger boat is the Atlantic 75 named "Leicester Challenge 2" and the station's highly active "D Class" is our own "Peterborough Beer Festival 1".

This year these boats are serving their present crews in their courageous and unselfish lifesaving work 200 years after the first lifeboat, the world famous "Zetland", arrived to become Redcar's first lifeboat. She arrived to take up her lifesaving duty, for which she was built, on October 7th 1802.

She and her crews, from the people of Redcar, gave illustrious service to the seafarers at peril from the dangers of the seas and coats of Britain. Boat and crews saved over 500 lives and were part of some of the greatest triumphs and tragedies of the seas around our island.

The Zetland lifeboat is the oldest surviving lifeboat in the world and to this day remains in perfect condition, on show in the Zetland Lifeboat Museum in Redcar, close by the present day home of her descendants. Though her crews are no longer with us their noble spirit and courageous acts of self-sacrifice are maintained by the Redcar station's present crew and all the crews of the RNLI lifeboats who today are equalled determined that "The sea shall not have them!"

Detailed information about the Redcar lifeboats, the Zetland and the 200 years celebrations are available on the internet at www.rnli-redcar.freeserve.co.uk  and www.zetland200.com.

June 2002

On average, RNLI lifeboats launch over 6,500 times every year and save 1,300 lives.
RNLI lifeboats have saved over 133,500 lives since it was founded in 1824.