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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 April 2007, 15:22 GMT 16:22 UK
Lifeboat museum marks centenary
Zetland lifeboat
The lifeboat picked up 52 people during a rescue in 1854
An RNLI museum which is home to the world's oldest surviving lifeboat is celebrating its centenary next week.

The Zetland Museum in Redcar, Teesside, opened in an old lifeboat house on 1 May, 1907, and took its name from the Zetland lifeboat.

The boat was built in 1802 and is estimated to have helped save more than 500 lives during its 78 years' service off the Teesside coast.

A day of celebration is planned at the museum in The Esplanade on Tuesday.

Honorary curator Eddie Ransom said: "This is the RNLI's oldest museum and it is important that we celebrate the 100 years that the Zetland has been helping to promote the work of the lifeboat service.

"Everyone who sees her and the other artefacts on display in the museum is amazed by just how courageous the early lifeboat men must have been."

The Zetland boat was built by renowned Tyneside lifeboat builder Henry Greathead, who produced 31 of the world's first lifeboats.

The museum is manned entirely by volunteers and is situated near the current RNLI lifeboat station in a Victorian boathouse owned by Redcar and Cleveland Council.

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