The Shannon was escorted by a flotilla of other boats including Yacht Kassey which I race on and other yachts from Scarborough Yacht Club. I was very proud to be part of the arrival ceremony aboard yacht Kassey. We raced after the event which we won, despite a collision and choppy seas.The arrival ceremony was compered by RNLI deputy launching authority Nick Taylor, via a PA system.
A £10,000 cheque was presented to the lifeboat by the Proudfoot Group.
At 3pm, the lifeboat chaplain, Rev Pam Jennings, conducted a short boat-blessing service, during which the Mersey entered the harbour to a bagpiper’s lament. The Mersey will remain on service until the operational switch has been completed.
The RNLI shop has already opened, within the lifeboathouse, and will be open on the day the Shannon arrives.
The £2m boat has been funded by donations from the FW Plaxton Charitable Trust.
The trust was set up following the death of Frederic ‘Eric’ Plaxton to ensure that the proceeds of his estate be applied to charitable purposes for the benefit of the inhabitants of Scarborough in memory of his father.
Frederick William Plaxton was the founder of Scarborough-based coach building firm Plaxton Ltd, and the new lifeboat will be named in his memory.
The Shannon lifeboat is the first modern RNLI all-weather lifeboat to be powered by water jets and not propellers.
Capable of 25 knots, the Shannon is 50% faster than the lifeboats it replaces – ensuring that those in need are reached even faster.
The Shannon needs a bespoke launch and recovery system. It is designed to be mostly launched and recovered from a beach, but can’t do it without the right launching equipment.
The RNLI worked with Supacat Ltd developing a system capable of launching and recovering the Shannon lifeboat from the beach at all states of tide.
The total cost of the Supacat launch and recovery system is £1.5m. Scarborough RNLI’s Supacat will be part-funded by two legacies. An appeal raised the remaining £200,000. Any monies raised above the appeal target will be used for the general running cost of the lifeboat station.
Scarborough RNLI’s current all-weather lifeboat, the Mersey-class Fanny Victoria Wilkinson and Frank Stubbs, is nearing the end of its operational life.