Whitby RNLI go digital for first ever virtual flag weekend

Whitby RNLI's first ever virtual flag weekend takes place this weekend, after the usual event had to be cancelled due to Covid-19.

By Duncan Atkins
Thursday, 27th August 2020, 8:26 am
Rebecca Tucker from W Hamond jewellers in Whitby holds the donated jewellery and watch with Whitby RNLI's coxswain Howard Fields and crew member Matt Sharpe.
Rebecca Tucker from W Hamond jewellers in Whitby holds the donated jewellery and watch with Whitby RNLI's coxswain Howard Fields and crew member Matt Sharpe.

The online event will take place Saturday and Sunday (August 29 and 30) via the Whitby RNLI Lifeboat Facebook page.

The RNLI have held a flag weekend in the town for as long as anyone can remember but the volunteers had to come up with a new idea this year to meet Government guidelines on social distancing.

Whitby RNLI's lifeboat press officer Ceri Oakes said: 'We get a lot of support in the town all year round with donations and fundraising and the flag weekend is usually a great opportunity for the crew to meet members of the public and show them what the RNLI is all about.

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Close-up of the donated anchor necklace worth £225 from W Hamond, Whitby, which will be auctioned on Saturday

"We wanted to hold an event that would celebrate all the support we receive and reflect the traditions of the past flag weekends.

"Rev Michael Gobbett has kindly recorded a blessing of the boats service which will stream on the Sunday and the crew have been busy creating safety videos."

CW Sellors jewellers in Whitby have kindly donated a nautical silver, gold and Whitby jet anchor necklace worth £225 which will be auctioned on Saturday, and an Elliot Brown RNLI watch worth £365 which will be auctioned on the Sunday.

In-house jeweller at W Hamond, Rebecca Tucker, said: "The RNLI is a local charity that we support regularly, in fact the lifeboat station is just down the road from our jewellery shop so it's close to our hearts."

Whitby RNLI Coxswain Howard Fields said: "We can't thank the staff at W Hamond enough for their extremely generous donation, we would also like to thank all the local businesses who have shown great support ahead of the weekend by displaying flags or holding collections."

The event which starts at 9am on Saturday can be accessed by typing Whitby RNLI Lifeboat into Facebook.

Throughout the day there will be competitions, exclusive footage from lifeboat shouts, quizzes, historic photos, videos and more.

The content will also be available after the event so don't worry if you miss anything.

Donations for the event which go towards vital equipment and training for the crew can be made via the event's JustGiving page.

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