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Duke to name Cromer lifeboat

PUBLISHED: 13:44 30 July 2008 | UPDATED: 09:03 13 July 2010

Richard Batson

Cromer's new £2.6m lifeboat will be officially named by the Duke of Kent in September it has been announced.

The boat went operational at the resort in January, since when it has launched seven times for rescues ranging from a medical evacuation of an injured windfarm construction worker to towing a stricken yacht back to safety.

Cromer's new £2.6m lifeboat will be officially named by the Duke of Kent in September it has been announced.

The boat went operational at the resort in January, since when it has launched seven times for rescues ranging from a medical evacuation of an injured windfarm construction worker to towing a stricken yacht back to safety.

When the Duke, who is president of the RNLI, names the Tamar class vessel the Lester on September 8, it will be a return to the resort with a famous lifesaving heritage - for he did the ceremony for its predecessor, the Ruby and Arthur Reed II, more than 20 years ago.

The Duke said he was delighted to be heading back to Cromer to name a new lifeboat which played “an important role in the community”, adding: “Cromer has always held a special place in my heart because of all the lifeboating heritage including the most famous lifeboat man of all, Henry Blogg.”

Station operations manager Richard Leeds said: “It is a great honour for the station and the people of Cromer that the Duke of Kent will be naming our lifeboat. There is a nice symmetry as he named our last lifeboat in 1986.”

The crew were very pleased to have the boat, the first of its kind in East Anglia, and hoped its improved ability, range, speed and endurance will help uphold the traditions of a station.

The Lester is quicker than its forerunner at 25knots instead of 17, is steered by a joystick rather than a wheel and is brimming with computerised gadgetry which can be worked by the crew from their seats during heavy seas.

Its name is an amalgamation of Derek Lethern and his friend William Foster. Mr Lethern left £1.23m to buy a boat, in memory of him and his fellow RNLI supporter.

Other people who funded the boat include Sybil Johnson, Florence Kemp, Gladys Rainbow, Doris Wood, Kathleen Ball, the Jean Coubrough Charitable Trust, and Janie Cadbury in memory of chocolate business benefactor Peter Cadbury, who had already helped Cromer by buying Henry Blogg's old H F Bailey boat for the town's lifeboat museum.

Other legacies from Hugo Goold, Doris Mann and Lilian Reeve helped fund the slipway adaptations needed for the boat.

A 2pm ceremony at the end of pier lifeboat station has limited space for invited guests, but will be beamed back to a screen on the promenade.

The Duke will meet lifeboat crew and lifeguard and see both the Tamar and its sister inshore boat in action, conditions permitting.


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