It’s all hands on deck down at Scarborough lifeboathouse as the crew and other personnel prepare for the arrival of the new Shannon lifeboat tomorrow.
The purpose-built, state-of-the-art building has to look its best when it opens to the public for a couple of hours, from 10am to noon on Sunday November 27.
Thousands of RNLI supporters are expected to turn out for the occasion.
A team of five has been despatched to RNLI HQ in Poole and will bring the Shannon to Scarborough over four days, with stopovers in Dover, Lowestoft and Hull.
The team is coxswain Tom Clark, second coxswain Lee Marton, mechanic and deputy second coxswain Dave Horsley, deputy second coxswain and mechanic Dave Jackson and navigator / coxswain Heath Samples.
The £2m boat has been funded by donations from the FW Plaxton Charitable Trust.
The Shannon, named Frederick William Plaxton after its benefactor, is due to arrive at 1.15pm, as its fleet number is 13-15. High tide is at 3pm.
It will be escorted by the outgoing Mersey all-weather lifeboat (ALB), the inshore lifeboat (ILB), Filey’s ALB, the Regal Lady and other vessels.
The Mersey crew will be Paul Huggins, George Whitlow, Chris Steel, Mark Rawling, Will Cammish, Keith Eade, Dave Roberts, Rudi Barman and Matty Jennings.
The ILB crew will be Pete Billingsley, Carl Walsh, Sam Baker and Richard Egan.
The Shannon will enter the harbour then return to the beach for a recovery demonstration using a bespoke launch and recovery system.
At about 2pm, a Sikorsky search-and-rescue helicopter will fly past. The coastguards and other emergency services will take part – subject to availability on the day.
At about 3pm, a short service to bless the boats will be conducted by Rev Pam Jennings, the lifeboat chaplain.
The Mersey will then enter the harbour to a lament played by a bagpiper who will be standing on the slipway. The Mersey will remain on service until the operational switch has been completed.
The arrival ceremony, which will feature the Sea Cadet Band, will be compered by RNLI deputy launching authority Nick Taylor, via a PA system.
Guests will include North Yorkshire’s lord lieutenant Barry Dodd, Filey RNLI president Lady Downe and Scarborough mayor Cllr Simon Green.
A £10,000 cheque will be presented to the lifeboat by the Proudfoot Group.
Stands in the lifeboathouse will feature the Respect the Water community life-saving campaign, the lifeguards’ Hit the Surf programme, a volunteer recruitment stand, the Ladies Lifeboat Guild and other fundraisers.
The RNLI shop has already opened, within the lifeboathouse, and will be open on Sunday.