Christmas Day call out for Whitby RNLI

It was the first time in living memory that the Whitby lifeboat crew was called out on Christmas Day.

Following reports of a red flare being spotted over the harbour, an indication normally of distress, the coast guard requested a launch and search of the harbour area by the inshore lifeboat crew to check that were not any vessels in difficulty.

After a thorough search the volunteer crew was stood down and returned to the station.

Coxswain Howard Fields said: ‘Thank you to our dedicated volunteers who leave their family celebrations at a moment’s notice to save lives at sea, we couldn’t do what we do without their commitment.’

More call outs followed…

The work did not stop there as late night Christmas Day a call out was made to support the Whitby Lion’s Boxing Day dip alongside Whitby Coastguard. The Whitby RNLI inshore lifeboat was deployed in the water on exercise keeping an eye on the event. On Tuesday the 27th a swimmer was reported missing who had set off from Sandsend and not returned to shore at the expected time.

The RNLI volunteers quickly launched the inshore lifeboat and began a detailed search of the shore line. Additionally, to assist with the a search on foot from the shore was also conducted and the all weather lifeboat was also launched to assist the search with every second vital to the chances of finding the casualty.

Moments after heading further out to sea to broaden the search, Jonathan Marr who was helm on the inshore lifeboat spotted the swimmer waving his arm. The inshore lifeboat crew quickly retrieved the swimmer from the water and transferred them to the all weather lifeboat for more medical treatment.

These incidents are something the RNLI deal with on a regular basis and it is testament to the dedication of the volunteers that work continues throughout the festive season and as proved over the past few days their commitment is second to none, even when they themselves are enjoying the festive celebrations with family and friends.