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Busiest weekend on record for Whitby RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

Whitby lifeboat crew were involved in six rescues including a woman injured aboard a stricken yacht.

The first call out came on Saturday after a yacht suffered engine failure two miles east of Ravenscar. The all-weather lifeboat was launched at 7.23 pm to tow the stricken vessel back to harbour, returning just after 9pm.

The following day the volunteer crew were paged at 12.25 pm after a yacht ran aground near the Upgang Ravine. A woman on board suffered a head injury and was taken in the inshore lifeboat to the harbour to a waiting ambulance. Whitby coastguard assisted with the transfer of the casualty onto the lifeboat.

Not long after, the charity's inshore lifeboat was launched for second time in a day when it was reported that a casualty was in distress near the water at Sandsend. The crew waited on standby at the scene while police and coastguard dealt with the incident. The inshore lifeboat was stood down and returned to harbour at 10 pm.

On Sunday 28 May, the all-weather lifeboat was launched when a power boat got into difficulties. During the rescue the tide became too low for the lifeboat to enter the harbour so the smaller inshore lifeboat was launched to take over the tow.

Both lifeboats were then reassigned to search for a reported missing person. After a three hour search was conducted between the piers in Whitby and Robin Hood's Bay the crew were stood down.

On Monday morning (29 May) the volunteers launched the inshore lifeboat to assist with fire crews as they worked to save a small fishing vessel from sinking in the harbour. The boat was almost submerged before the teams managed to use ropes to bring it to the surface. The lifeboat crew then pumped out water and towed the vessel to a nearby slipway. No one was aboard the fishing boat.

Station mechanic Richard Dowson said 'We think this could be the busiest weekend on record for Whitby RNLI. The sunny weather brings more people out onto the water so you do expect more call outs. It's been a busy one for the crew but that's what we're here for, to save lives at sea and keep people safe on the water.

We'd like to thank the local police, fire and coastguard for their help and co-operation with some of the incidents'

For more information contact Lifeboat Press Officer Ceri Oakes on 07813359428 or email

Whitby inshore lifeboat is launched on Sunday 28 May

RNLI/Ceri Oakes

Whitby RNLI's inshore lifeboat launching on Sunday 28 May
Whitby RNLI's inshore lifeboat pumps water from a sinking fishing boat

RNLI/Ceri Oakes

Whitby RNLI's inshore lifeboat pumps water from a sinking fishing boat
Whitby RNLI's inshore lifeboat pumps water from a sinking fishing boat

RNLI/Ceri Oakes

Whitby RNLI's inshore lifeboat pumps water from a sinking fishing boat

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