Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

History of Boats Bridged by Tyne

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

History of Boats Bridged by Tyne

Article excerpt

Byline: Tony Henderson Environment Editor

ONLY a few feet separated two lifeboats as the vessels met up on the River Tyne.

But the gap was 180 years in terms of time and technology.

The lifeboat Tyne, first launched in 1833, was rolled out from the riverside workshop of the North East Maritime Trust in South Shields after five months of dedicated restoration work.

The second oldest lifeboat left in existence, the vessel was back by the water and lined up on the quayside yesterday.

Joining it was the river's current lifeboat Spirit of Northumberland, which crossed the Tyne from its North Shields base to moor alongside its historic forerunner.

Trust director Tim West said: "This was something which was a one-off and will never happen again.

"Bringing together for the first time the world's second oldest lifeboat and a modern day lifeboat illustrates the advances in lifeboat design and development from the pioneering days of the world's first purpose designed rowing lifeboats, that began in South Shields, to the fast hightech lifeboats of today.

"In just sitting in the Tyne lifeboat, it struck everyone who participated in this project of the bravery, courage and seamanship skills of the local pilots who manned this small open boat in atrocious sea conditions, when going to the aid of those in distress at the mouth of the river. "The renovation of the Tyne will ensure that not only will the exploits of her crews be remembered, but also that an important part of our local and national maritime heritage will have been be preserved."

During its 54 years of service the Tyne saved 1,024 lives.

She has been on public display since 1893 near the seafront in South Shields, next to the town's North and South Marine parks.

The lifeboat will now be put into storage until its protective listed canopy near the seafront has also been restored by the trust. …

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