For only the third time since she arrived in 1802, the famous lifeboat Zetland has left her home town of Redcar, in North Yorkshire.

The oldest lifeboat in the world, the Zetland was built by Henry Greathead and served for many years before the founding in 1824 of the National Institution for the Preservation of Life from Shipwreck, which 30 years later became the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI). The lifeboat remained in service until 1864 and was said to have saved more than 500 lives.

When she was no longer operational, the Zetland was given to the people of Redcar who raised the sum of £100 to have her repaired in South Shields on the River Tyne.

In 1907, the Zetland was moved to what had become a disused lifeboat station a few hundred yards from the town’s current RNLI station. This became the Zetland Lifeboat Museum. In 1953, the Zetland was taken from the museum to Edinburgh where she went on display as the centrepiece of that year’s International Lifeboat Conference.

For many years, the museum was supported by the RNLI but in 2015, the running of the museum was handed back to the people of Redcar.

Now, the Zetland has been on the move again to undergo conservation work by local builder Tony Young.

More on this and other news in Sea Breezes Magazine - February 2019 Issue
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