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At 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.

At 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.

Contact 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.

As 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.

On 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".

The 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.
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Sir James Knott