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IN PICTURES: Another memorable day for Bridlington Lifeboat

The Bridlington RNLI team
The Bridlington RNLI team

Crowds turned out in force for the final stage in the arrival of Bridlington’s new lifeboat.

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, conducted the official naming ceremony for the Antony Patrick Jones on the seafront on Saturday.

He blessed the new Shannon-class boat and the boathouse on the south promenade in front of the town’s RNLI crew and invited dignitaries, with hundreds of members of the public making the most of the lovely sunshine to watch proceedings from outside the station.

Andy Brompton from Bridlington RNLI said: “It was a very good day and the weather made it.

“It was a world away from the day when the boat arrived.

“This time it was glorious from beginning to end.

“It was a memorable service led by the Archbishop and the Rev Matthew Pollard, rector at Bridlington Priory and lifeboat chaplain, and we also welcomed Charles Hunter-Pease, the former RNLI chairman who was born in Filey.

“He gave a very good speech as the new boat was officially handed over to the RNLI and then passed over to Bridlington RNLI, and accepted by operations manager Keith Turnbull.”

The lifeboat arrived in Bridlington on a miserable, cold and wet Sunday afternoon last November.

It’s first call-out was not until February, when it headed towards Hornsea when a small fishing coble sank and two men were rescued.

Saturday’s ceremony, which was officially opened by Bridlington Lifeboat chairman Richard Dunk and featured hymns and readings, was a once-in-a-lifetime occasion for many of the crew.

Andy said: “The crew had put a lot of time and effort into everything.
“They had been up since the early hours setting the boathouse up and they had been polishing the boat the day before so it looked its best.

“This was a major occasion. The new lifeboats are supposed to last for 50 years so many of the crew will not see another day like this.”

The last time Bridlington welcomed a new boat was in 1989 when former coxswain Fred Walkington poured the champagne over the new arrival.

This time the honour was given to his son Grant, one of only three members of the current crew who were part of the team in 1989, alongside Chris Brompton and Dave Coverdale.

Before the ceremony Dr Sentamu had said: “It is always a privilege to be able to spend time with those who risk their lives in the service of others.

“Our lifeboat crews do extraordinary work whatever hazards that they may face.”

The new lifeboat was named after a local man Antony Patrick Jones who bequeathed a substantial amount to Bridlington RNLI, which mainly funded the new vessel.

He was an only child who spent most of his childhood and adult life in Bridlington. He was involved with assisting Riding for the Disabled and his late mother Constance Jones, was an active member of the Bridlington Ladies Lifeboat Guild.

The RNLI had tracked down two of his closest relatives and invited them to the ceremony.