The arrival date of Amble’s new state-of-the-art lifeboat has been unveiled, following a major fund-raising appeal to help pay for her.
In June, the Gazette reported that £200,000 had been collected towards the cost of the town’s Shannon-class vessel – reaching the target one month ahead of schedule.
Now it has been announced that the boat will be arriving at the town’s RNLI station at 1pm on Wednesday, October 12, weather permitting.
And the community is being invited to come along and welcome the Shannon into Amble for the first time. She will be operational a short time after, following crew training.
The vessel will be named Elizabeth and Leonard, in memory of a couple whose legacy has helped partially fund the £2million vessel – although the official naming and dedication ceremony will not take place until spring 2017.
The Shannon will replace Amble’s current all-weather Mersey-class lifeboat, The Four Boys, which is reaching the end of her operational life.
Katrina Cassidy, chairman of Amble Lifeboat Fund-raisers, said: “We are delighted to have an arrival date and we would like people to come along and show their support for the new boat, because so many people helped to bring the boat to Amble through their generous and continuing support and donations.”
The quest to raise £200,000 was launched in July 2014, with the aim of hitting the target by July 2016.
The cash was raised in a number of ways, including through the Northumberland Gazette’s Jam Jar Army campaign last year. The ambitious target was achieved on Sunday, June 19, during a coffee morning at Amble’s lifeboat station.
The new lifeboat is being built at the RNLI’s All-weather Lifeboat Centre, in Poole, Dorset. The Shannon is the RNLI’s next generation all-weather lifeboat. It is the most agile in the RNLI fleet and is capable of 25 knots, making it 50 per cent faster than the lifeboats it replaces.