New meets old at Redcar RNLI
It was a case of new meeting old when the Redcar lifeboat came across a former RNLI lifeboat more than 40 years its senior while out on a routine training run on Sunday 27 August 2017.
Helmsman Cameron Bond explains: 'We'd launched to train on the new navigation kit our lifeboat has now, and we spotted what looked like an old lifeboat on the horizon.
'We streamed over to it and we found it was an old Oakley class lifeboat. The crew told us it was built in 1969. It was used by the RNLI until 1987 when it was taken out of service.
'By our standards, although she's big, her equipment would have been very basic compared to what lifeboats carry now.
'They had just bought her and were taking her to a boatyard further up the coast to start a restoration project.'
Cameron Bond added: 'It was making pretty good speed really, probably eight or nine knots, considering how old it was. They were heading for Hartlepool for lunch before they carried on up the coast.'
The 48-foot (14.8m) wooden-hulled Oakley class lifeboat, named 'Charles Henry', began its service in 1969 at Selsey, West Sussex and at Baltimore, County Cork before being retired from active service in 1987. It has been in private hands since. The Oakley class lifeboats were named after Richard Oakley, the RNLI naval architect who designed them in the 1950s and 1960s.
Notes to editors:
Attached video grabs show the Redcar RNLI crew meeting the former RNLI lifeboat Charles Henry at Redcar. Credit RNLI Redcar
Redcar lifeboat station has been operating since 1802
Redcar currently operates a B-class lifeboat named Leicester Challenge III, paid for by the people of Leicester, and an IB1-class lifeboat named Eileen May Loach-Thomas, paid from the legacy of the late Nicolas Thomas of Shropshire
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Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.