This time, next year Bridlington will be getting ready to receive a £2.2million Christmas present.
The town’s new Shannon class all-weather lifeboat should arrive in December 2017, and it will be housed in the £3million station which is under construction next to The Spa.
That should be ready to open in June and the inshore lifeboat will move from its existing base at the foreshore to the new building, which will also be home to an RNLI fund-raising shop and the lifeguards team.
At the minute, the big lifeboat has to be brought out on to the road and down the slipway, but the main benefits of the new station will be vital extra minutes in the race to get to sea on life-saving rescues.
“Twelve minutes is the quickest we have ever done, from everybody getting the call at work to hitting the water,” said Bridlington RNLI mechanic Chris Brompton.
“The average is about 15 minutes but we are hoping we will be able to cut about six minutes off that when we don’t have to have the trek across the main road.”
It’s a great, traditional building, but you have got to move onChris Brompton
From next summer, there will be no need for Chris to flit between the two sites while carrying out day-to-day maintenance work and all the crew will gather at one point when there is a call-out.
“The ground floor will have crew changing rooms and upstairs will have training rooms, two viewing windows and all the computers and the screens,” he said.
“We will also have more room for school visits, because it is a squeeze to get 25 children in at the minute..
The existing station on South Marine Drive was built in 1903, and the cost of the plot of land and the build was £1,000.
It has served the town well, but its sea views are blocked by the Spa so volunteers can’t see when the boats are returning to land.
Chris added: “It’s a great, traditional building, but you have got to move on.
“I like the design of the new building, it is very in keeping with The Spa.
“I think everybody living around here is just like us, they can’t wait to see it finished.”
Six months after the new building opens, Bridlington will welcome its new all-weather boat.
Scarborough’s Shannon class vessel arrived last weekend (see bottom left photo), and they have a life-expectancy of 50 years.
That, and a new £1.5million tractor and carriage, will see the culmination of a £7million investment in Bridlington.
January 2017 - The roof will go on to the new lifeboat station to make the builidng watertight
June 2017 - The new lifeboat station is due to open
September 2017 - Bridlington’s RNLI will travel to Poole in Dorset for training on their new Shannon class vessel
December 2017 - The town’s new all-weather lifeboat will arrive in town