On Saturday 28th September the new lifeboat at Scarborough was launched. The lifeboat was taken by public procession from the Railway Station down to the lifeboat house. It was christened and immediately tried out. It was named Amelia after the daughter of the donor. The Amelia was 32 feet long, 8 feet wide and had 10 oars. It involved the latest designs. It was capable of righting itself and was capable of self discharging of water. It was purschased at a cost of £315.
There were 18 RNLI lifeboats stationed locally. In Northumberland they were stationed at Berwick, North Sunderland, Boulmer, Almouth, Hauxley, Newbiggen, Cullercoats, and Tynemouth. In Durham ther were lifeboats at Whitburn and Seatan Carew. In Yorkshire lifeboats were stationed at Middlesborough, Redcar, Saltburn, Whitby, Scarborough, Filey, Bridlington and Hornsea. 115 lifeboats were stationed around the coast of Britain at that time.
The lifeboat in Scarborough was to be taken to sea every three months to exercise the crew. 5 shilling was provided for the crew whilst on rough wheather exercise. Three shillings for fine wheather exercise. If a launch involved the saving of life or attempts to save life then ten shillings was paid.
The RNLI was based in London. The September,1861 meeting reported that new lifeboats had been despatched to Southport,Aberystwith,Scarborough and Llanddwyn. Each lifeboat cost £500 and £40 per year to maintain. The committee had already spent £8000 that year.
The national RNLI appealed for money saying "It is earnestly hoped the public will extend their continued support to an institution which is so actively engaged in rendering important services in the hour of direst need, to a class of men whom England must depend , to a great extent for its commercial prosperity and the safety of its shores. "
The New Scarborough lifeboat was to last just two months. It was lost off the Spa walls. The local RNLI wrote to London. They received the following reply.
"We deeply lament to learn of the wreck of your new lifeboat, and the sad loss of life by that calamity.... The committee would feel much obliged by your favouring them at your earliest convenience, with the particulars of the families left by the poor men who perished from the lifeboat. Please provide at once for their wants, and the funeral expenses of the deceased."
On Monday, 11th November,1861, Scarborough received a replacement lifeboat. Mrs Cockcroft, the generous donor, christened her the 'Mary'. This time no demonstration of the boat took place. The Vicar of Scarborough offered a most appropriate prayer for the safety of the boat, and that she might be instrumental, if need be , in saving lives, imperiled by shipwreck.
The RNLI meeting on the 10th November,1861 (14 John Street,Adelphi,London) drew attention to the number of lives saved during the previous 21 months by the RNLI Lifeboats around Britain. In all 410 lives were saved. The following wrecks were from local ports:-
- Barque 'Niagara' of Shields, 11 saved
- Brig 'Pallas' of Shields, 3 saved
- Brig 'Zephyr' of Whitby, 6 saved
- Coble 'Honour' of Cullercoats, 3 saved
- Schooner 'Eliza' of North Shields, 7 saved
- Brig 'Scotia' of Sunderland, 6 saved
- sloop 'Three Brothers' of Goole, 5 saved
- Brig 'Ann' of Blyth, 8 saved
- Brig 'Flying fish' of Whitby, 5 saved
- Brig 'Prodroma' of Stockton, 11 saved
- Brig 'Eliza' of Middlesborough, 7 saved
- Brig 'Glocester' of South shields, 7 saved
- Brig 'Lovely Nelly' of Seaham, 6 saved
- Schooner 'Prospect' of Berwick, 6 saved
- Fishing boat of whitburn, 4 saved
- Brig 'Arethusa',of Blyth, 6 saved
- Brig 'Mayflower' of Newcastle,8 saved
- Brig 'Providence' of Shields,8 saved
- Brig 'Roman Empress' of Shields,10 saved
- Barque 'Perseverance' of Scarborough,5 saved
The bravery of the crew and the generosity of donors still continues to this day. The RNLI gets no money from Government.
- Scarborough Mercury 1861( September, November)
- Gazette 1861( 14th November,1861)