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Six-year-old Scarborough RNLI crew ancestor raises £600 cycling Cinder Trail

Lifeboats News Release

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.

Seb with his thumbs up and wearing a navy coloured RNLI hoodie, stood with his cycle and a brown teddy bear wearing a black Scarborough RNLI T-shirt

Lauren Tomlinson

Seb's all set for the Cinder Trail

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:

  • 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

  • Gifts in Wills are the crews’ protection, with 64% of the RNLI's net income coming from legacies. To leave a gift in a Will visit

  • You can also support the RNLI by donating in memory of a loved one. For more information visit

RNLI media contacts

For more information please telephone Laura Lyth, RNLI volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 01723 360520 or [email protected] or Clare Hopps, Regional Media Officer on 07824 518641 or clare_hop[email protected] or contact the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789.

Members of the 2023 Scarborough RNLI crew al wearing yellow RNLI jackets stood with Seb, who is wearing his navy RNLI hoody, in front of the all-weather lifeboat 'Frederick William Plaxton'

Lauren Tomlinson

Seb meets members of the 2023 Scarborough RNLI crew
The Cinder Trail map for the leg Scarborough - Ravenscar

OS Maps

Cinder Trail route Scarborough - Ravenscar

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 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 by email.