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During 1972 a new lifeboat-house was completed at Redcar and an Oakley type lifeboat, Sir James Knott, arrived on November 28th. An official opening ceremony was performed by the Marquis of Zetland on Monday, May 28th, 1973, and the lifeboat was re-dedicated by the Bishop of Whitby.

At approximately 16.00 on October 4th, 1981, the lifeboat-house attendant at Redcar observed a 15ft. speed boat being launched into rough seas from the foot of the lifeboat slipway. The speed boat headed straight towards West Scar, a reef of outlying rocks, and at 16.10 was seen to be capsized by a large wave.

A crew of the I.L.B. was assembled and at 16.17 the I.L.B. was launched with helmsman Trevor Wilberforce and crewman Dave Cocks on board. Several heavy seas were shipped during launching and waves of up to fifteen feet in height were breaking along the entire length of the outlying rocks. As a considerable detour was necessary to avoid the danger, full speed was maintained despite the very rough conditions.

Beyond the rocks the I.L.B, was frequently hidden from sight by large waves. As the wind was nearing gale force and visibility was poor it was decided to place the offshore lifeboat on stand by, and a crew was assembled at 16.25. At about the same time the two men from the speedboat were sighted briefly from the I.L.B. as it rose on the crest of a wave. They were in the water and clinging to an empty fuel drum. Both were wearing wetsuits but not lifejackets.

One was a non-swimmer and was in a state of exhaustion. Trevor Wilberforce worked the I.L.B. through the breakers until it was alongside, and Dave Cocks pulled the fittest survivor on board. They clung to the exhausted man whilst the I.L.B. was turned to meet the seas and avoid a possible capsize, and then he too was hauled aboard.

Both men were in poor shape through hypothermia and exhaustion and an ambulance was requested and was waiting to meet the I.L.B. when it was beached at 17.00.

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