RNLI launches appeal to fund new vehicle

The Supacat launch and recovery vehicle. Picture by Simon Culliford, RNLI.
The Supacat launch and recovery vehicle. Picture by Simon Culliford, RNLI.

Scarborough RNLI is hoping to raise £200,000 towards the cost of a state-of-the-art launch and recovery vehicle for its new £2m lifeboat.

In 2015 the town’s Mersey class all-weather lifeboat Fanny Victoria Wilkinson and Frank Stubbs is set to be replaced when it nears the end of its operational life.

But without a bespoke £1.5m Supacat vehicle, the volunteer crew won’t be able to launch its new Shannon class boat on rescues.

Coxswain Tom Clark said: “We’ll miss our Mersey class lifeboat when she goes but we’re excited about receiving a Shannon. The boat’s advanced technology means we’ll be able to reach people in trouble at sea a lot more quickly than we can at the moment. The Supacat is an essential part of the RNLI’s lifesaving jigsaw, but it still needs funding. We know £200,000 is a lot of money to raise so we’re really hoping the people of Yorkshire will get behind the appeal and help us reach our target.”

The fundraising appeal will launch at the lifeboat station on Saturday during the final Honda GoldWing motorcycle event, which has annually raised thousands of pounds for the RNLI. A number of events have been planned over the coming months, ranging from maritime fancy dress competitions, charity auctions through to race nights and tea parties.

Town one of first to get new lifeboat

Scarborough will be one of the first lifeboat stations in the country to receive a Shannon class lifeboat. It will be funded by a legacy from Frederic William Plaxton, former chairman of Scarborough coach building firm Plaxton. It is the first modern lifeboat to be powered by water jets and not propellers. The lifeboat needs a bespoke system as it is designed to be mostly launched and recovered from a beach.

Hannah Jackson, RNLI community fundraising manager, said: “We’d love people to come along on Saturday to find out how they can get involved or share any innovative fundraising ideas.”