Duchess 'launches' new fishing port lifeboat station – Fishupdate.com

Duchess ‘launches’ new fishing port lifeboat station Published:  10 September, 2007

THE Duchess of Kent has officially opened a new lifeboat station at one of the Yorkshire Coast’s most important fishing ports.

The new base at Whitby, which became operational over a month ago, replaces a century old base which has saved the lives of hundreds of fishermen down the years and is affectionately known to crew members as “the old tin shed”.

A station spokesman said the new site would make it easier to launch vessels and bring casualties to shore.

The Duchess, who lives near Whitby, has been a long time supporter of the RNLI in the town and has named three of its previous lifeboats.

During the weekend ceremony, she unveiled a bronze bust of Whitby’s most celebrated lifeboatman, Henry Freeman. Henry Freeman, himself a former trawlerman, was a Whitby lifeboatman for more than 40 years. Made famous by the photos of Frank Sutcliffe, he was the sole survivor of the 1861 lifeboat disaster which claimed the lives of the other 12 men on his lifeboat. The service was his first as a lifeboat volunteer and he was saved by the experimental cork life jacket he had been given to wear.

Whitby still has a fleet of at least 12 white fish trawlers and is also home to a growing shellfish fleet and a large number of leisure craft.

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