She's here: Bridlington's new lifeboat arrives

Bridlington's first glimpse of its new lifeboat
Bridlington's first glimpse of its new lifeboat

The people of Bridlington have welcomed the town's state-of-the-art lifeboat to its new home.

The Antony Patrick Jones was brought ashore at 1.22pm - marking the fact its RNLI number is 13-22 - and hundreds stood on the south beach to catch a first glimpse of the boat.

At the helm was coxswain Stuart Tibbett, who said it was the proudest day in his 30-year career with the RNLI.

"It was amazing," he said. "I am so proud to be the coxswain who brought Bridlington's new lifeboat home.

"It was an honour to do it and I did get a bit teary as we saw Flamborough Head.

"She could be here for the next 50 years now, that's how long they are built for."

The lifeboat left RNLI headquarters in Poole in Dorset on Wednesday and travelled up the East Coast, staying over in Scarborough last night.

"It has been a long week and we have been training all the way up, and you really have to run this boat as a team," added Stuart.

They headed back south this morning, and were joined by the Bridlington inshore lifeboat, the town's existing Mersey-class boat the Marine Engineer, and Flamborough lifeboat, as it arrived in bay at lunchtime.

A rainbow over the harbour as the new arrival came into view added to the sense of occasion, and the crew gave a demonstration of its power and speed for the crowds who had gathered in terrible conditions.

They also laid a wreath at sea and made a brief detour into the harbour, before reaching dry land and being taken into the town's new lifeboat station for the first time.

Among those watching was Richard Dunk, chairman of the management group at Bridlington Lifeboat Station.

"It's unbelievable, the start of a fantastic chapter in the history of Bridlington Lifeboat and the community of Bridlington.

"Bearing in mind the weather, the turnout demonstrates what the lifeboat means to Bridlington.

"As a boat, it is an incredible piece of equipment - a tribute to the RNLI. We are thrilled it is here.

"It has been a long time coming but the day has finally arrived and we are very proud."