Rowers take on lifeboat challenge

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An annual lifeboat row from Scarborough to Whitby takes place at the weekend in memory of the man who started it.

Colin Bell died in a diving accident off Hartlepool in 2009, a week after organising the third row.

Colin was a family man with two adopted children and a loving wife Jean. The other love of his life, apart from his family and scuba diving, was fundraising for the RNLI.

On Saturday, a team of 10, led by lifeboat coxswain Tom Clark, will row the William Riley of Birmingham and Leamington 20 miles to Whitby on Saturday.

The 105-year-old boat is based at Whitby and belongs to Whitby Historic Lifeboat Trust.

A century ago, it played a major part in the dramatic rescue of the occupants of the Rohilla hospital ship, off Whitby.

The former lifeboat now tours the country raising funds for the RNLI and other worthy causes. The crew are being sponsored, with the proceeds going to the £200,000 appeal to help pay for a Supacat launch-and-recovery vehicle for Scarborough’s new lifeboat.

The event takes place every two years and this time will feature rowers from South Bay Scuba Scarborough, Scarborough Yacht Club (SYC), Scarborough Sub Aqua Club (SSAC) and Scarborough RNLI.

Each rower raises a minimum of £50 sponsorship and the event has also had some business sponsorship in that Morrisons has provided packed lunches for rowers and boat crew and Sainsbury’s has provided bread for the BBQ on the Friday night, plus water and sunhats for the rowers.

Also Dogs2frogs, Howdens and Carl Whitehead Joinery have sponsored the row.

Donations can be made via a Just Giving link at

All support will be very much appreciated and donations gratefully received.