Official naming of new Skegness RNLI lifeboat interrupted by call out
Sunday 17 April 2011
Author: Russell Matthews
Divisional Inspector of Lifeboats Andrew Clift had finished describing the new lifeboat and her capabilities, and handed the mic over to David Murray, Chairman of the Peterborough and District Branch of CAMRA (The Campaign for Real Ale), when the lifeboat was requested to launch by Yarmouth Coastguard.
Having cleared the crowds from around the boat and outside the boathouse, the lifeboat proceeded to launch and headed north towards Winthorpe where a man had become separated from his jet ski and appeared to be struggling to get back ashore. However, as the lifeboat arrived on scene, the man was being assisted back onto the beach and his jet ski had been recovered.
The crew made sure all involved were safe and well before heading back to Skegness to continue the ceremony just before 3:30pm.
Senior Helmsman Tony Kelly said the possibility of being called out during the ceremony had crossed the minds of the crew beforehand.
He added: 'Both lifeboats remained on service ready to be called out during the ceremony if required - but we never expected it would actually happen. Fortunately this was a quick, simple shout that took around twenty minutes so we could get back to the station and carry on quite quickly.'
David Murray and Mike Lane, Chairman of the Peterborough Beer Festival Committee, re-started proceedings by explaining how the funds for the new lifeboat were collected from festival-goers over several years before officially handing the boat into the care of the RNLI.
The lifeboat was accepted on behalf of the RNLI by David Shepherd, Head of Business Operations, and on behalf of Skegness Lifeboat Station by Alan Fisher, Lifeboat Operations Manager.
Following a brief Service of Dedication lead by Reverend Ian Banks, a Vote of Thanks was proposed by Mrs Joan Evison, former secretary of the Skegness Ladies' Lifeboat Guild.
The lifeboat was officially named Peterborough Beer Festival IV by Mike Lane and Mrs Jenny Bambridge, with Batemans XB beer, supplied by Batemans Brewery in Wainfleet, poured over the bow of the boat instead of champagne.
The ceremony ended with a beautiful rendition of 'Home from the Sea', sung by the lifeboat crew, station officials and ladies from April's Piano Academy, under the direction of April Chapman.