SCARBOROUGH is the third oldest lifeboat station in Britain and, since 1801, its crews have saved 538 lives. But they operate in one of the most inhospitable environments on earth and need the very best equipment, not only to effect a speedy rescue, but to keep the men safe from everything the North Sea can throw at them.
The current lifeboat was designed with a 25-year lifespan and, by 2016, will need to be replaced by the RNLI’s newest member of the fleet, the state-of-the-art Shannon class. However, it costs £2million to buy. Then there is the price of a new boat house, not to mention a specialist launch and recovery vehicle called Supacat.
All RNLI income is from public donations. Fortunately, the cost of Scarborough’s new boat and its associated station is covered by some enormous legacies, but the crew is still short of £200,000 for the Supacat.
So last year the boat’s volunteer force set up an appeal. Now it has reached the halfway mark and Hannah Jackson, the RNLI community fundraising manager, tells us the target is to raise the remainder by the end of the year.
They need to, because without Supacat, the lifeboat will be beached.
Hannah says public support, so far, has been ‘‘fantastic’’, and so it should be. As we report on our centre pages today, lifeboat crews are heroes who volunteer to go out in any weather and ask for nothing in return.
We can ask, though, and would urge everyone to support this fantastic cause. If all our readers, online and in print, gave just £2, the target would be met by this evening.