William Riley
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Official Unveiling II

The Future for the William Riley

In July, the trust had an adventurous plan to recreate the perilous 60 mile journey undertaken by the motor lifeboat Henry Vernon from Tynemouth to Whitby. After seeing a film about a six strong group of drinkers from York who had travelled the length of Loch Lochmond on a pedalo, the local lifeboat press officer Peter Thompson invited them to participate in rowing the William Riley. The group who have called themselves “Ales Angels” expected to row 12 miles each day stopping off at various ports culminating with an arrival in Whitby during the Lifeboat Weekend on the 13th July and the annual blessing of the boats ceremony. It is without doubt quite a challenge; the lifeboat weighs around two tonnes with one of the hurdles alone being a tidal current of six knots. The lifeboat is equipped with ten oars and in poor weather the lifeboat was double banked with twice as many volunteer crewman.

With the restoration completed the former lifeboat is destined for a healthy future raising money for the RNLI. The national Sea Cadets have also expressed an interest in using the boat as part of doing the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme in the future.

Canon David Smith
The Unveiling
Selected Dignitaries
Whitby Marina
The Launch
Test Row

It was a shame that the weather was so poor on the day as the boat looked so very different to its state when initially found, it was a sad way to end the official unveiling. I have added just one more page related to the day which can be accessed using this link.