View as PDF

Staithes RNLI party interrupted by 999 call

Lifeboats News Release

Staithes and Runswick RNLI’s lifeboat had to abandon its own party yesterday (Saturday 19 August) when a 999 call came through at the height of its annual Lifeboat Weekend festivities.

Staithes' new lifeboat Sheila & Dennis Tongue III at sea

RNLI/Colin Harrison

Staithes & Runswick RNLI's Atlantic 85 Sheila & Dennis Tongue III
The lifeboat was at sea showing the crowds a simulated rescue along with lifeboats from Whitby and Redcar and HM Coasguard’s Rescue helicopter when the news came through of a boat in difficulty down the coast near Runswick Bay.

The Staithes lifeboat Sheila & Dennis Tongue III abandoned the scene and sped off to find a small rigid inflatable boat with two anglers aboard anchored in choppy seas off Kettleness Point after engine failure.

The crew towed them back to Runswick Bay and the anglers were landed unharmed on the beach.

It was the third call-out within a week for the busy Staithes volunteer crews. Colin Harrison, Lifeboat Weekend co-ordinator with Staithes and Runswick RNLI commented: 'It was a very dramatic moment and underlined to the thousand or so people watching from the harbour what Lifeboat Weekend is fundamentally about - saving lives at sea by a charity that is funded by the public. I’m delighted that the anglers were brought back safe and sound and the same for our volunteer crew who were able to return and continue entertaining the crowds.'

RNLI Media contacts
For more information please contact Grant McKee, RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on: 07801 257614.

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.


The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland