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REDCAR, UK: November 28, 2018. The world’s oldest surviving lifeboat has made its first journey for 55 years, leaving Redcar for logistics company AV Dawson on the nearby River Tees where it will be restored to preserve its structural integrity for the future.

The Zetland Lifeboat was built in 1802 in South Shields for the North Yorkshire coastal town of Redcar. It saved more than 500 lives before retiring in 1864. In 1880 it was brought out of retirement for one last rescue when the brig Luna breached Redcar pier – all seven members of the vessel’s crew were saved.

Boat“This is a project six years in the planning that will preserve the Zetland Lifeboat for many future generations to enjoy. The boat is mostly sound, and we will be keeping as much of the original construction as we possibly can,” explained Zetland Lifeboat Museum chair, Janette Picknett. “The Zetland has scars and old repairs that bear witness to her many decades of life-saving work in Redcar, and it’s essential that her unique character is preserved.”

The vessel will return to its boathouse at the Zetland Lifeboat Museum and Redcar Heritage Centre when the venue reopens in Spring 2019.

“This is a very special project and one that is of huge historical im-portance," said AV Dawson managing director Gary Dawson. "When it was brought to our attention that they were struggling to find a warehouse with an overhead crane in order to carry out their conservation project we were more than happy to offer one of ours.

“It’s quite apt that the oldest lifeboat in the world now comes to one of the oldest quaysides on the Tees to be restored and conserved for the enjoyment of many generations to come,” he added.

Pictured left to right: AV Dawson and Zetland Museum personnel David Pearson, Arthur Smith, Zetland Museum Curator; Andrew Watkins, AV Dawson Operations director; Jim Veitch, Zetland Museum Secretary; Janette Picknett, Zetland Museum Chairperson; Martyn Johnson, George Cuthbert and Philip Boville, Zetland Museum Treasurer.

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