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Charter Mayor of Scarborough to Join RNLI's 200th Celebrations

Scarborough RNLI is to hold a bicentennial celebration of the RNLI this evening.

The event has been organised by station volunteers and will include Scarborough RNLI crew being presented to the Charter Mayor of Scarborough, Cllr John Ritchie at 4pm. Both lifeboats will also be launched at approximately 5pm and recovered at 6pm. There will be a private celebration for the crew and station invitees from 7pm onwards.

Event organiser, Paul Huggins, Scarborough RNLI inshore lifeboat Helm said:

'The RNLI is a charity that has been saving lives at sea for 200 years. As we mark the 200th anniversary we want to commemorate the One Crew that has been saving lives at sea for two centuries.

'We will also celebrate being part of the world class lifesaving organisation we have become, whilst reflecting on Scarborough RNLI's contribution to the 146,000 lives saved by our charity. Hopefully, we inspire new volunteers, donors and supporters for the next 200 years too. As the Charter Mayor of Scarborough has previously been Scarborough RNLI crew, having him attend and the crew presented to him on this historic day makes the occasion even more special. He is part of our heritage and will always be part of our One Crew.'

Two centuries have seen vast developments in the lifeboats and kit used by the charity’s lifesavers – from the early oar-powered vessels to today’s technology-packed boats, which are now built in-house by the charity; and from the rudimentary cork lifejackets of the 1850s to the full protective kit each crew member is now issued with.

Roger Buxton, Scarborough RNLI's Lifeboat Operations Manager commented:

‘While much has changed in 200 years, two things have remained the same – the charity’s dependence on volunteers, who give their time and commitment to save others, and the voluntary contributions from the public which have funded the service for the past two centuries, it’s these selfless gestures that have enabled the RNLI to save lives at sea for 200 years.'

Scarborough RNLI also had three crew members at the official service at Westminster Abbey earlier, commemorating how the RNLI has continued saving lives at sea throughout the tests of its history, including tragic disasters, funding challenges and two World Wars.

Yesterday the station featured in BBC televisions Songs of Praise.

The programme showcased the lifesaving operation from the station’s new state-of-the-art lifeboathouse which opened in November 2016. During filming, Rev Kate interviewed crew members to find out what inspires them to give up their time to save others. Those to go in front of the camera include Coxswain Lee Marton and volunteer Rudi Barman and station Chaplain Rev Pam Jennings spoke of the role faith plays at Scarborough RNLI.

Lee Matron, Coxswain from Scarborough Lifeboat Station, said:

‘It was a pleasure to host the Songs of Praise crew and show them around our Shannon Lifeboat in the bay. The RNLI has been saving lives for 200 years; we’re the latest generation carrying on the lifesaving work which has been carried out by many generations before us and it was good to showcase what we do for the songs of praise audience’.

Also featured was Donna Loveland, whose brother Andrew McGeowan, died aged 32 after going into the sea to try and save his dog Arnold in February 2015. She tells how tragedy inspired her to establish the Andrew McGeowan Legacy Fund, which now pays for the RNLI to put on a series of Swim Safe water safety lessons for children each summer in the North Bay. The Family’s lifesaving legacy continues further with their brother Pete McGeowan now the station’s mechanic.

Th programme inlcuded hymns from St Mary’s Church in Scarborough including a version of Eternal Father Strong to Save which featured a special new verse dedicated to lifeboat crews.

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