On the harbour it was a sandy beach. If the Rohilla had gone aground there, rescue would not have been a problem. She would just have ridden up the gentle slope of soft sand and when the tide went out everybody on board would have been able to walk off.
The Lifeboat Station stood at the seaward end of the West Pier. The Robert and Mary Ellis, Whitby’s No.1 Lifeboat, was inside on its wheeled launched carriage, ready to be manhandled to the stone ramp on the far side of the pier where it was sheltered from the currents. There was space inside for the John Fielden, the slightly smaller No.2 Lifeboat, but experience had taught the wisdom of keeping a boat in the water at all times and she was moored in the harbour.
Copyright © Ken Wilson 1981