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Three youngsters rescued by Scarborough RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

Three youngsters in kayaks had to be rescued by Scarborough RNLI when they drifted nearly a mile offshore.

Fortunately, a team of RNLI lifeguards was training on the north beach and realised that a strong offshore wind had blown the youngsters out to sea.

Two aged 14 and one aged 11, the children were wearing wetsuits and life-jackets but hadn’t counted on the wind strength.

Three lifeguards on paddleboards swam out to them, while colleagues called the coastguard, who in turn requested the lifeboat.

The lifeboat launched at about 12 noon today (6 April) and delivered the children and their kayaks back to their parents on the beach.

The lifeboat then returned to the scene to transport the lifeguards back to shore.

“The wind had got them and they were nearly a mile out by the time we got there,” said helmsman Craig Burnett.

“Just because the sea is flat and the sun is in the sky it doesn’t mean the sea is safe, especially when there’s a strong offshore wind.”

Craig’s crewmates aboard the lifeboat were Matt Rawlings and Rob Gaunt.

Photo caption: Scarborough’s inshore lifeboat on exercise in similar conditions to today’s rescue.

RNLI media contact

For further details, ring Scarborough RNLI press officer Dave Barry on 07890 322992.

Notes to editors

Scarborough RNLI’s all-weather Mersey class lifeboat Fanny Victoria Wilkinson and Frank Stubbs is nearing the end of its operational life. It is set to be replaced by the newest member of the RNLI fleet, a Shannon class lifeboat.

Scarborough RNLI’s £2m Shannon lifeboat has been funded by donations from the FW Plaxton Charitable Trust.

The trust was set up following the death of Frederic ‘Eric’ Plaxton to ensure that the proceeds of his estate be applied to charitable purposes for the benefit of the inhabitants of Scarborough in memory of his father.
Frederick William Plaxton was the founder of Scarborough-based coach building firm Plaxton Ltd, and the new lifeboat will be named in his memory.

The Shannon lifeboat
• The Shannon lifeboat is the first modern RNLI all-weather lifeboat to be powered by water jets and not propellers.
• Capable of 25 knots, the Shannon is 50% faster than the lifeboats it replaces – ensuring that those in need are reached even faster.

Launch and recovery
• The Shannon needs a bespoke launch and recovery system. It is designed to be mostly launched and recovered from a beach, but can’t do it without the right launching equipment.
The RNLI worked with Supacat Ltd developing a system capable of launching and recovering the Shannon lifeboat from the beach at all states of tide.
• The total cost of the Supacat launch and recovery system is £1.5m. Scarborough RNLI’s Supacat will be part-funded by two legacies. An appeal raised the remaining £200,000. Any monies raised above the appeal target will be used for the general running cost of the lifeboat station.

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.


The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland