Bridlington’s next RNLI all-weather lifeboat will be named Antony Patrick Jones in memory of the local man whose legacy is helping to fund the state-of-the-art Shannon class vessel.
The new lifeboat should go on service in Bridlington in around two years, once a new lifeboat station has been built and when the current Mersey class all-weather lifeboat, Marine Engineer, reaches the end of her operational life.
Former taxi driver Mr Jones died at the age of 46 in 2002, leaving a substantial legacy to the charity to benefit the lifeboat service in Bridlington. Shortly before he died, Mr Jones received a large compensation payment as a result of mistakes made during an operation which left him paralysed and blind.
Mr Jones also left money in his will to the RSPCA and Riding for the Disabled Association and was a keen horseman and swimmer. His cousin, Jackie Powell, said the end of his life had been tragic but the family was delighted the new Bridlington lifeboat was to be named after him. She said: ‘We knew it was going to be some years until the lifeboat could be put into service and now the time is getting closer, we are very much looking forward to seeing the Shannon arrive in Bridlington with Antony’s name on the side.
“We are all very proud that his legacy will be helping the RNLI to save lives at sea for decades to come.”
Richard Dunk, Bridlington RNLI Chairman, said Mr Jones’ interest in the RNLI was mainly through his late mother, Terri, who was a member of the local RNLI fundraising guild. He added: ‘Terri would have been overwhelmed to know the new Shannon class lifeboat is to be named after her son.
“She was a tremendous supporter of the RNLI, in particular the Bridlington station, and had been a member of the Ladies Lifeboat Guild for many years, helping to raise funds for – in her words – the very brave crews putting their lives at risk helping to save others.
‘When Terri retired from the guild, I used to visit her to keep her informed on the progress of a new lifeboat and the new boathouse until she died in 2012. It is very sad that she will not be here to witness the arrival of the new lifeboat named after her son but she knew that we were all incredibly grateful for Antony’s legacy, and that the new lifeboat would be a fitting and long-lasting tribute to his memory.’
The Shannon is the first modern RNLI all-weather lifeboat to be propelled by water jets instead of propellers and is the most agile in the charity’s fleet. The Antony Patrick Jones will be housed in the new lifeboat station, which is being built on Spa Promenade.