Double celebration for port's RNLI base

The RNLI lifeboat crew at Fleetwood will have double reason to celebrate next month.

Wednesday, 4th May 2016, 12:00 pm
Updated Wednesday, 4th May 2016, 1:34 pm
The Kenneth James Pierpoint

Arriving at the port on June 26 will the station’s new £2 million, Shannon-class all-weather lifeboat, to be named The Kenneth James Pierpoint.

The new vessel will use water jets, instead of propellers, and is capable of reaching 25 knots, 50 per cent faster than the current lifeboat, William Street.

As well as this, the Fleetwood station will also be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the D class inshore lifeboats.

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Since arriving in 1966, a total of six inshore boats been involved in almost 1,000 operations in the past half a century.

Captain Dave Eccles, lifeboat operations manager at RNLI Fleetwood said: “June is going to be an eventful month at the Fleetwood.

“We’re expecting to have big turn-out from the public when the new lifeboat arrives.

“The crews are already in training for what will be a very different vessel, which is potentially much faster than the current one.

“Secondly, we will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first inshore boat coming to Fleetwood.

“The introduction of the RNLI inshore lifeboat has ensured many more lives have been saved by the volunteer lifeboat crews around our shores.

“The inshore boats have a crew of either two or three and can reach speeds of 25 knots, making it a vital asset to the volunteer lifeboat crew at Fleetwood, especially when rescuing walkers cut off by incoming tides.”

The Kenneth James Pierpoint, currently being completed at RNLI HQ in Poole, is named after a young RAF pilot, who died in the Second World War and was the brother of Kathleen Mary Pierpoint, the generous benefactor who helped fund the new boat.