Memorial service marks 65th anniversary of RNLI tragedy

There was a good turnout for Scarborough RNLI’s annual memorial service at St Mary’s church.

Tuesday, 10th December 2019, 6:05 pm
Cllr Hazel Lynskey at the St Mary’s memorial service.

It was attended by borough mayor, Cllr Hazel Lynskey, who was joined by her consort and son Mike Lynskey and granddaughter Ruby Lynskey.

They were greeted by Colin Woodhead, who chairs Scarborough RNLI.

Lifeboat operations manager Andy Volans delivered the first reading.

The service was very well attended.

The service, conducted by Rev Richard Walker and featuring Filey Fishermen’s Choir, marked the 65th anniversary of one of the worst disasters in the lifeboat’s history.

Three crew died when the ECJR lifeboat overturned in the south bay in a terrible storm on 8 December, 1954.

In atrocious conditions, with enormous waves and a howling gale, the lifeboat had been at sea all afternoon, escorting fishing boats back to the harbour.

With its rescue work complete, the ECJR was engulfed by waves and capsized close to the harbour mouth.

The deaths of coxswain Jack Sheader, second coxswain John Cammish and signalman Francis Bayes devastated their families and numbed the town with shock and grief.

Every year since then, the anniversary of the tragedy has been commemorated by a church service remembering those three in particular but also other lifeboat crew who have perished at sea.

They include Frank Dalton, who died in a horrific accident in tumultuous seas on 9 December 1951.