Rye Harbour RNLI lifeboat station’s new lifeboat – Hello Herbie II – was officially named by Nigel Carter, who poured champagne over her bow before she was launched to show off her paces.
Graeme Richardson, lifeboat area lifesaving manager, gave a vote of thanks to Sheila Pigott, who together with her late husband John David Pigott, made a considerable donation towards the funding of the new lifeboat; and to Mr Carter, whose family donated the original Hello Herbie which was written off two years ago.
The Reverend Canon David Frost lead the Service of Dedication on Saturday in front of an audience including the Lord Lieutenant Peter Field, and the High Sheriff of East Sussex, Maureen Chowen.
The Atlantic 85 class RNLI lifeboat was introduced in 2005 and is larger than its predecessor, the Atlantic 75.
It is a B class inshore lifeboat, designed to operate in shallow water. There’s no wheelhouse, so the crew are exposed to the elements at all times.
It is one of the fastest lifeboats in the fleet with a top speed of 35 knots.
Jai Gudgion, one of the helmsmen, said: “Hello Herbie II is perfect for service in the Rye bay area. She has two onboard computer screens for radar and GPS tracking and a VHF direction finder for helping to pinpoint any casualty. We can now carry four crew and have more survivor space.”
Rye Harbour lifeboat station would like to thank those who have kindly raised monies to pay for the new lifeboat. Thanks also to its fundraising team and volunteers.
The final fundraising event will be an illustrated talk about the Mary Stanford disaster, the worst in the history of the RNLI, where the Rye Harbour crew of 17 all lost their lives. This will be held on Friday, October 20 at 6pm in Rye Harbour Church of the Holy Spirit. Tickets £20 (including wine and canapes) are available from Claire Stephenson on 01797 222032 or firstname.lastname@example.org.