23.33 on Monday, June 4th, 1984, Tyne Tees coastguard informed
the honorary secretary that the crane barge Kerrydale H, with
five crew on board, had experienced machinery failure and was
adrift 3.75 miles ENE of the lifeboat station.
23.50 the Sir James Knott was launched from her
carriage under the command of second coxswain/mechanic John
Price. The wind was NE5-6, visibility was poor, and the
sea was rough with a moderate swell.
was made with the barge at 00.23. It had already drifted some
distance from its original position and with the strong onshore
wind it was estimated that it would be aground in 2 hours. One
of the crew was suffering from seasickness and the captain requested
that he be taken on board the lifeboat, so as to save time if
the barge had to be abandoned.
preparations were being made to go alongside, the wind eased
and the rate of drift decreased. It was decided to leave the
man on board the barge, and the lifeboat continued to stand
by until the tug arrived and a tow was rigged. The barge was
towed into the Tees escorted by the lifeboat, which returned
to her station at 05.00.
Saturday, July 13th 1985 the Sir James Knott sailed
for Amble for modifications. Unbeknown to the crew, it was to
be the last time the Oakley was to serve at Redcar. On
the 11th November 1985 members of the R.N.L.I.'s Search and
Rescue Committee visited the Redcar station to break the news
that early in 1986 Redcar was to receive an Atlantic 21, ending
a 184 year history of "big boats".
news was met with dismay by some of the crew and with anticipation
of a new challenge by others. Redcar became an "Atlantic
21" station on Sunday 22nd March 1986. The Sir James
Knott unceremoniously left Redcar on the back of a heavy
truck the following day.
The Sir James Knott did eventually return to Redcar. She now has
pride of place in an excellent exhibition at the Kirkleatham
Old Hall Museum.