Lifeboat launched for Rohilla reflections

Whitby's modern day lifeboat, George and mary Webb, attracts the crowd's attention as it prepares for a day of tributes to those involved in the Rohilla disaster

Whitby's modern day lifeboat, George and mary Webb, attracts the crowd's attention as it prepares for a day of tributes to those involved in the Rohilla disaster

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When Whitby’s lifeboat was launched today it was a far cry from that fateful night when its predecessors ventured into stormy seas.

Today the sun was shining and the seas were calm but one night 100 years ago was on the mind of every crew member as they paid their own tributes to the people that were the heroes of the Rohilla rescue mission - and those that never made it back to dry land.

A full weekend of events and services have been arranged for this weekend to commemmorate the 100th anniversary of the wreck of HMHS Rohilla.

After the official opening of the weekend took place yesterday, today saw the William Riley take to the water, wreaths laid and a specially commissioned plaque unveiled by the Marquis of Normanby.

The George and Mary Webb led a flotilla of vessels, including the inshore lifeboat, fishing boats and the Bark Endeavour and Esk Belle, to the site off Saltwick Nab where the Rohilla ran aground and broke up.

Wreaths were laid out at sea by members of the Whitby lifeboat crew and specially selected dignitaries.

Later this evening there will be an evening of sea-faring inspired music and drama at St Hilda’s Church on the West Cliff. ‘Spirit of Whitby - Rohilla Remembered’ has been compiled by local songwriter and musician Richard Grainger and stars local youngsters.

Tomorrow at 11am a Service of Remembrance will be held at St Mary’s Church led by the Bishop of Whitby.