‘Town will be proud of new lifeboat station’

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Scarborough’s proposed new lifeboat station will have a shop for the public, a changing room for crews and a museum area showing old photographs.

Plans for the new station were unveiled to the public for the first time at Scarborough’s Town Team meeting at The Royal Hotel last week.

Other new features include a crew training area and a boat maintenance workshop, which the current station does not have.

Presenting the plans, the RNLI’s Andrew Ashton said the new station was needed in order to house and maintain the new state-of-the-art Shannon class lifeboat, which will be arriving next year.

He said: “I hope you will agree that this is a building Scarborough can be proud of.

“We’re conscious that we build our lifeboat stations in very sensitive locations so we work very closely with planning officers and local authorities to make sure we produce buildings that fit in with the local environment.”

The plans for the new station have been submitted to council planning officers this week. If they get the go-ahead, the current station will be 
demolished.

Built between 1939 and 1940, the current station is “very pushed for space,” said Mr Ashton.

He said: “We’ve done all we can for the present building. We had a look to see if we could modify it, but we would have had to take all four walls down and the roof off, so we thought we would rebuild.”

Meanwhile, the new Shannon class lifeboat, which will replace the current Mersey class lifeboat next year, is said to be much safer.

Mr Ashton told the Town Team meeting that most accidents happen when the crew have to move about on the boat, but he said that on the new boat crews can do everything from their seat.

The new boat is also bigger and faster and can be launched more safely.

Because the new station will be built closer to the sea, it will be launched even quicker.

l On average, 22 people are rescued every day of the year along the UK coastline by the RNLI. It has a total of 4,500 operational volunteers in 236 lifeboat stations. The RNLI’s income last year was £150 million. Forty per cent of lifejackets checked by the RNLI have a fault.