‘Emotional’ time for lifeboat crew at official naming ceremony

Skegness Lifeboat naming ceremony and service of dedication. Lifeboat operations manager Alan Fisher, accepting the llifeboat on behalf of Skegness Lifeboat Station.
Skegness Lifeboat naming ceremony and service of dedication. Lifeboat operations manager Alan Fisher, accepting the llifeboat on behalf of Skegness Lifeboat Station.

Crowds turned out in force for the official naming ceremony of Skegness’ new £2.2 million lifeboat.

The vessel is named ‘13.17 Joel and April Grunnill’ in honour of two RNLI stalwarts.

Skegness Lifeboat naming ceremony and service of dedication. April Grunnill receiving her British Empire Medal from Lord Lieutenant of Lincolnshire Toby Dennis.

Skegness Lifeboat naming ceremony and service of dedication. April Grunnill receiving her British Empire Medal from Lord Lieutenant of Lincolnshire Toby Dennis.

Former coxswain Joel, who is now deceased, served the coast for more than 45 years, while his cousin April has been a long-standing volunteer. April has also played a central role in raising the money for the new Shannon Class lifeboat and was on hand to perform the official duties.

It was a particularly poignant day for April, who also received a British Empire Medal from the Lord Lieutenant of Lincolnshire, Toby Dennis.

Some 300 invited guests and a large crowd of onlookers gathered for the ceremony.

“It was a very poignant moment,” said volunteer crew member and press officer Adam Holmes. “It was emotional for the crew.”

Skegness Lifeboat naming ceremony and service of dedication. Coxwain Richard Watson delivering the vote of thanks.

Skegness Lifeboat naming ceremony and service of dedication. Coxwain Richard Watson delivering the vote of thanks.

The new lifeboat arrived at the end of January, greeted by many well-wishers on Skegness beach.

The Mersey class Lincolnshire Poacher, which arrived in the resort in 1990 and has carried out 352 rescues and saved 195 people, was officially retired the following month.