Scarborough RNLI is set to welcome its new Shannon class lifeboat

Lifeboats News Release

Scarborough Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) volunteers are set to welcome their new state-of-the-art Shannon class lifeboat* on Sunday 27 November at 1:15pm.

Scarborough RNLI's volunteer crew aboard the new Shannon class lifeboat

RNLI/Alison Levett

Scarborough RNLI's volunteer crew aboard the new Shannon class lifeboat

The charity’s new £2M lifeboat has been funded by donations from the F W Plaxton Charitable Trust and will be named Frederick William Plaxton.* She is set to arrive at 1:15pm to add a sense of occasion, as her operational boat number is 13.15.

An RNLI fundraising appeal raised £200,000 towards the cost of a bespoke launch and recovery vehicle for the new lifeboat.*

Scarborough RNLI’s new lifeboat station will also be open to the public for the first time on Sunday from 10am, ahead of the new Shannon’s arrival. There will be guided tours and various stands offering information about RNLI Community Lifesaving, lifeguarding and fundraising.

The new lifeboat house was needed as the Shannon is larger than Scarborough’s outgoing all-weather Mersey class lifeboat.

The building includes a revamped shop and an exhibition space where those who visit can learn about the history of the lifesaving charity. There are also upgraded volunteer crew facilities with extra space for lifesaving training and an up-to-date drying room for their kit.

RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, John Senior, said: ‘Naturally we’ll miss our current all-weather lifeboat Fanny Victoria Wilkinson and Frank Stubbs, but we’re also excited about receiving a Shannon, whose advanced technology means we’ll be able to reach people a lot more quickly and further off shore.

‘The arrival of Scarborough’s Shannon class lifeboat and indeed the new lifeboat house opening has been much anticipated. The Shannon will be welcomed by a Sea Cadets band and she’ll perform a display in the sea to show her capabilities. The new vessel will also be blessed during a short ceremony and our current all-weather lifeboat will receive a fond farewell accompanied by a lone piper.

‘We really hope that as many people as possible turn up to witness what promises to be a truly historic occasion. We’d also urge everyone who raised money for our launch and recovery vehicle and offered such phenomenal support to the appeal to come and see our new Shannon arriving.’

Scarborough RNLI’s Coxswain Tom Clark, added: ‘Our volunteer crew can’t wait to start their new chapter of lifesaving with the Shannon and we’ve really enjoyed our recent training ahead of her arrival. The state-of-the-art vessel is 50% faster than our current all-weather lifeboat and this will ensure that those in need are reached even more quickly than before.’

The new Shannon class lifeboat will be named during an official ceremony early next spring.

RNLI Photo caption

The photographs show Scarborough RNLI’s volunteer crew aboard the new Shannon class lifeboat. Scarborough RNLI’s Coxswain Tom Clark, is pictured in the centre of the photos. Credit: RNLI/Alison Levett.

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For more information, please contact please contact Clare Hopps, RNLI Press Officer North, on 07824 518641 or at

Notes to editors

  • Scarborough RNLI’s current all-weather Mersey class lifeboat Fanny Victoria Wilkinson and Frank Stubbs, has reached the end of her operational life. She is being replaced by the newest member of the RNLI fleet, a Shannon class lifeboat.

Scarborough RNLI’s £2M Shannon class lifeboat has been funded by donations from the F W Plaxton Charitable Trust.

The F W Plaxton Charitable Trust was set up following the death of the settlor 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.

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 class lifeboat:

  • The Shannon class 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, so ensuring that those in need are reached even faster.
  • Scarborough RNLI’s Shannon has been built at the charity’s All-weather Lifeboat Centre in Poole, Dorset.
  • The following RNLI stations have a Shannon class lifeboat: Amble, Dungeness, Exmouth, Fleetwood, Hoylake, Ilfracombe, Lowestoft, Montrose, St Ives, Swanage, Montrose and Lough Swilly.

RNLI Fundraising appeal and launch and recovery vehicle:

  • The total cost of the bespoke launch and recovery vehicle is £1.5M. Scarborough RNLI’s vehicle has been funded by two separate legacies and £200,000 from an RNLI fundraising appeal.

The appeal was launched in September 2013, and saw a multitude of events held to help raise money, including sponsored tractor pulls, boat pulls, cycle rides, Dickensian Fairs and race nights. The appeal target was reached in February 2015.

The appeal also received a vital boost from the Yorkshire Post’s Christmas Appeal, which selected Scarborough RNLI’s campaign as the chosen charity for their annual festive auction. Money raised from bids brought in over £17,000.

  • The Shannon needs a bespoke launch and recovery system. She is designed to be mostly launched and recovered from a beach, but without the right launching equipment, this is impossible.
  • The RNLI worked with Supacat Ltd. in developing a system capable of launching and recovering the Shannon class lifeboat from the beach at all states of the tide.

Scarborough RNLI's volunteer crew pictured on their new Shannon

RNLI/Alison Levett

Scarborough RNLI's volunteer crew pictured on their new Shannon

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or or by email.