The new Lytham St Annes lifeboat was given a warm welcome at its new base on a chilly but clear winter’s afternoon today.
The £2.2m Shannon craft had left the RNLI headquarters in Poole, where it was built, last Wednesday.
Lytham St Annes RNLI spokesman David Forshaw said: “It was good to see everybody out. There was a great deal of support.”
The boat – Barbara Anne – sailed home via Brixham, Newlyn in Cornwall, and Kilmore Quay in Ireland, before spending Saturday night at Holyhead, Anglesey.
It was set to beach at 1.24pm – timed to tally with its operational number of 13-24 – before arriving at the lifeboat station at around 2pm.
While the boat did managed to beach on time, it was slightly delayed in getting to the lifeboat station, where it was given a round of applause.
The crowd included children waving flags, people with long lens cameras and binoculars, and dignitaries, including Fylde MP Mark Menzies.
Hundreds lined the Promenade, straining their eyes to watch the Barbara Anne, and current lifeboat Her Majesty The Queen, make their way slowly over the mile of sand inland.
“It went extremely well,” Mr Forshaw said. “We were helped by the weather, which was superb apart from the temperature.”