History is made: Official naming of new lifeboat in Skegness today

Skegness' new lifeboat, the Joel and April Grunill, arrives home. Photo: MSKP-280117-16 ANL-170130-112744001
Skegness' new lifeboat, the Joel and April Grunill, arrives home. Photo: MSKP-280117-16 ANL-170130-112744001

History will be made today (Saturday) when the new £2.2million Skegness lifeboat is officially named by stalwart RNLI volunteer April Grunnill.

Hundreds of people braved cold winds in January to welcome the new state-of-the-art Shannon class lifeboat home – the legacy of former Skegness coxwain the late Joel Grunnill and his cousin April.

Similar crowds are expected for the naming ceremony of the ‘13.17 Joel and April Grunnill’ lifeboat – a double celebration as it is April’s birthday.

The ceremony, which includes the launch-and-recovery system Fred Henley in a service of dedication, will start at 12pm. Onlookers will see a demonstration launch by new Skegness coxwain Richard Watson, who took the helm following the retirement of Ray Chapman.

April Grunnill will perform the naming ceremony in the presence of the Lord Lieutenant of Lincolnshire, Toby Dennis, who will present her with the British Empire Medal (BEM).

Joel Grunnill served for more than 45 years, saving 197 lives.

Read more

I was so thrilled that it meant so much’: Hero’s welcome for new Skegness lifeboat

End of era as Skegness lifeboat officially retires

‘Selflessness, skill and courage’: Tribute to former Skegness coxwain