Rescue Motor Launch RML 497 arrives at The National Museum of the Royal Navy Hartlepool Credit handout photo 280119
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WWII Rescue Vessel Safely Arrives At New Home

The World War Two vessel has arrived in Hartlepool.

Rescue Motor Launch RML 497 arrives at The National Museum of the Royal Navy Hartlepool Credit handout photo 280119

A Second World War rescue vessel has completed its 420-nautical-mile journey to Hartlepool.

The Rescue Motor Launch RML 497 has arrived safely at The National Museum of the Royal Navy Hartlepool ahead of a conservation programme to get her on permanent display to tell the rich naval story of the coastal forces in the North Sea.

The vessel was craned into place alongside the museum and put into a temporary building.

The 34-metre long Rescue Motor Launch 497 has had a varied history. She began life rescuing fallen airmen in the Second World War, latterly providing a ferry service in the South West.

She was acquired by the museum following a grant of £90,600 from the National Lottery's Heritage Fund and £5,000 each from the Coastal Forces Heritage Trust and the National Museum.

A further funding application has been lodged with the Heritage Lottery Fund for the next phase of the project.

Arabella Roberts, Historic Ships Manager at The National Museum of the Royal Navy, who directed the move, said: “The arrival of RML 497 is the culmination of months of planning and hard work. The Historic Ships team has worked incredibly hard and diligently to ensure that RML 497 is safe and secure in her new home.”

Roslyn Adamson, General Manager of The National Museum of the Royal Navy Hartlepool, said the vessel tells a "strong story about the coastal forces in the northeast."

“She is an amazing survivor, full of original features, which is incredible for a wooden warship built for service during the Second World War.

"We are thrilled to have her here and are formulating exciting plans to get her conserved and put on display. There is a really strong story about coastal forces in the northeast that can be told through her," he added.

Councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher, the Leader of Hartlepool Borough Council, added: "We’re so delighted to see RML 497 has safely arrived in Hartlepool, her new home. She has a strong connection to the North Sea and her story is fit to be told at The National Museum of the Royal Navy Hartlepool."