Six-year-old Scarborough RNLI crew ancestor raises £600 cycling Cinder Trail
On 30 September 2023, six-year-old Sebastian Humphries, completed a sponsored bike ride from Scarborough to Ravenscar and back, raising £600 for the station. He is also the four-time great-grandson of John Sheader, the Scarborough RNLI coxswain who died in 1954 when ECJR capsized.
What makes Sebastian’s achievement even more heartfelt is that he is also the four-time great-grandson of John Sheader. John was a coxswain at Scarborough RNLI who sadly was one of the three crew who died during the ECJR disaster on 8 December 1954.
The Cinder Trail route links Scarborough and Whitby and is part of the former railway line. The leg Scarborough - Ravenscar return journey is 33.8km (21 miles). Taking on a challenge of this size at six years old to fundraise for Scarborough RNLI could suggest that Sebastian has inherited his ancestor's bravery and selfless dedication to saving lives at sea.
Sebastian spoke about his inspiration to raise money for the station: ‘I wanted to raise money for Scarborough RNLI as I feel they are real heroes as they save so many lives and teach everyone how to be safe in the water. My four-time great-granddad died saving people’s lives on the lifeboat, so I have a close family connection to them. Hopefully, the money I raised can help buy new equipment to keep the crew members at sea to keep doing a great job and saving lives.’
Lauren Tomlinson, Sebastian’s mum commented: ‘Super proud of my biggest boy, cycling all the way to Ravenscar and back to raise money for Scarborough RNLI.'
Roger Buxton, Scarborough RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager commented: ‘We are incredibly grateful to Sebastian. It's a brilliant achievement, both in the bravery he has shown undertaking the 21-mile bike ride at such a young age, but also in raising £600. I am sure his four-time great-granddad would have been incredibly proud of him; continuing the family’s connection, dedication and legacy to Scarborough RNLI and saving lives at sea.'
The station has held an annual memorial service at St Mary's Church since 1954, to remember Sebastian's four-time great-granddad and his two crew mates from the Scarborough lifeboat family who gave their lives to save others at sea. It is held on the Sunday closest to the day of the E.C.J.R. disaster.
Notes to editors
Scarborough RNLI has been operating since 1801 and is one of the oldest stations in the United Kingdom still in operation. To learn more about the lifeboat station go to: https://rnli.org/find-my-nearest/lifeboat-stations/scarborough-lifeboat-station
Photographs from the visit are available to download. Please credit Lauren Tomlinson.
As a charity, the RNLI relies on voluntary donations to power its lifesaving work. There are many ways to donate to the RNLI, for more information visit https://rnli.org/donate
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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 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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