Call-out action for RNLI team

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CROWDS watched in awe as the Skegness RNLI crew leapt into action, when there was call of distress during an official boat naming event at the weekend.

Divisional Inspector of Lifeboats Andrew Clift, had just finished describing the new lifeboat and then handed the mic over to David Murray, Chairman of the Peterborough and District Branch of CAMRA (The Campaign for Real Ale) when a call came from the Yarmouth Coastguard.

The team quickly cleared crowds and then proceeded to launch the lifeboat heading north towards Winthorpe where a man had got into trouble with his jet ski.

On arrival, the team found the man had already been assisted back to shore and his jet ski recovered.

Senior Helmsman Tony Kelly said: “Both lifeboats remained on service ready to be called out during the ceremony if required - but we never expected it would actually happen. Fortunately this was a quick, simple shout that took around twenty minutes so we could get back to the station and carry on quite quickly.”

David Murray and Mike Lane, Chairman of the Peterborough Beer Festival Committee, explained, back at the ceremony, how the funds for the new lifeboat were collected from festival-goers over several years before officially handing the boat to the RNLI.

The £31,000 D class lifeboat was accepted on behalf of the RNLI by David Shepherd, Head of Business Operations and Skegness Lifeboat Station operations manager, Alan Fisher.

There was a brief Service of Dedication lead by Reverend Ian Banks, a Vote of Thanks was proposed by Joan Evison, former secretary of the Skegness Ladies’ Lifeboat Guild.

The lifeboat was officially named Peterborough Beer Festival IV by Mike Lane and Jenny Bambridge, with Batemans XB beer and poured over the boat instead of champagne.

The ceremony ended with a rendition of Home from the Sea, sung by the lifeboat crew, station officials and ladies from April’s Piano Academy, under the direction of April Chapman.