Whitby boatmen remember

Act of Remembrance for the 150th Anniversary of the deaths of twelve Whitby Lifeboat men 9th February 1861''w110612b   Picture: Ceri Oakes

Act of Remembrance for the 150th Anniversary of the deaths of twelve Whitby Lifeboat men 9th February 1861''w110612b Picture: Ceri Oakes

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IT may have happened 150 years ago but the enormity of what happened out at sea all those years ago was just as prominent this week.

In silence out at sea, wreaths, one depicting an anchor, were cast into the water to remember 12 Whitby lifeboatmen who died trying to save the lives of others.

Following a short ceremony at the boathouse in Whitby, conducted by the Rev David Smith, family members watched as the bright white arrangement floated away, lost to the sea forever.

The lifeboatmen all drowned in a storm on 9 February, 1861 when the lifeboat went out for the sixth time that day to try to rescue sailors on the stricken collier, The Merchant.

On Sunday at 2pm, at Whitby’s St Mary’s Church, a service of commemoration will be attended by the current lifeboat crew and the Bishop of Whitby, the Rt Rev Dr Martin Warner.

And the Marske Fishermen’s Choir will perform a song written about the Whitby lifeboat disaster.