first lifeboat to be stationed at Redcar arrived on October
7th, 1802. It had been built by Henry Greathead, of South Shields,
and was later christened Zetland. The arrival
of the lifeboat was a source of great festivity and rejoicing.
A contemporary account records that "in the evening
the fishermen were regaled with ale to drink success to the
boat and the health of the builder". They also declared
"in the most voluntary and heartfelt manner"
that the lifeboat would never want for hands to man her.
fishermen were as good as their word, and when, on December
6th, the brigs Friendship and Mary were blown ashore on the
North Gare, some five miles north of Redcar, the new lifeboat
was taken to the scene with commendable speed and the shipwrecked
crews, totalling 15, brought to safety.
that period Redcar was a village of only two rows of houses,
and to alert the lifeboat crew a drum was beaten to the rhythm
of "Come along, brave boys, come along."