The John Scott takes to UllswaterA Lake District's mountain rescue team had its new rescue boat blessed by one of its members – a bishop – at its launch this week.

The John Scott takes to Ullswater

The Patterdale team’s new craft was named after former chairman John Scott, who died after a battle against cancer. The naming ceremony was attended by Lindsay Scott, widow of Mr Scott, who was also bosun of the rescue boat. He was also founder of the Patterdale MRT supporters’ club.

Bishop Ian Griggs, a resident of Patterdale and rescue team member, blessed the boat before the launch at nearby Glenridding, on the shores of Ullswater.

It may seem odd that a mountain rescue team has a motorboat. The craft’s current bosun Dave Watkinson explained the fact that the team’s area is bisected by Ullswater means rescues often need rapid transport across the lake.

He said: “We’ve been asked why a mountain rescue team needs a boat but we’ve actually already had to use it three times in recent weeks to get team members over to injured people on the far side of the lake and bring them back to the road as quickly as we can.

“The John Scott is bigger and much better than our previous boat and similar to an inshore life boat.

“The ceremony marked the end of several months work and an awful lot of fundraising,” he added.

Following the ceremony, Mr Watkinson then took team chairman, Tim Jones, Lindsay, Alastair and Claire Scott out on to Ullswater to experience The John Scott in action.

Tim Jones said: “I took over from John as chairman, and I was always in awe of him. He was a great man and I was proud to know him and work with him on the team. The new rescue boat is, we hope, a suitable tribute to a great man.”

John Scott was an Alpine and Himalayan mountaineer and former member of the Parachute Regiment. He died two years ago at the age of 57.