£500,000 bid to name lifeboat after caring nurse Annette
- Credit: Dick Thurlow
A bid to name a new lifeboat after a caring community nurse is being launched under a £500,000 appeal.
The new £1.6m Caister lifeboat will be among the most advanced in the world with more comfort and capability than the current Bernard Matthews II in service since 2004.
Raising enough to be the biggest benefactor will mean it can be named after Annette Thurlow, a nurse and wife of former Coxswain Dick Thurlow, whose sons Aaron and Richard are part of the current crew.
If successful it is reckoned it will be the first time lifeboatmen will serve on a craft named after their mother.
Richard Thurlow said it would be a fitting tribute to Mrs Thurlow, who was unable to donate her organs as she wished.
He said by raising money for the service and naming the boat in her honour she would still be saving lives.
After being diagnosed with Parkinson's she had to cut her career short. She died in 2018 but difficulty establishing a cause of death meant her organs could not be donated, devastating her family.
Richard hailed the response of a Just Giving page which had quickly raised £7,500, the family putting in an initial £5,000 to get it going.
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He hoped maritime contacts would be big-givers but said the penny from the local well-wisher was just as important.
Comedian and stalwart Caister Lifeboat supporter Jim Davidson was also backing the appeal and would be collecting for it after every show on his tour.
Meanwhile a raft of fundraising was being planned, with daughter Heidi, the manager at The Smokehouse in Ormesby, looking to host music events there.
Richard said: "We would like to raise £500,000. It is a a tall order but you have to set a target.
"We lost mum in 2018. She spent her career in the NHS and during that time she looked after so many people in the community.
"This tribute will be a way of saving the lives we could have done with the organs, but in a different way."
Donations of auction and raffle prizes are welcome.
Richard Thurlow can be contacted at email@example.com or via 07590 849968.
A proud history
Caister lifeboat has a long history of lifesaving and famously its men 'never turn back'.
The new boat, when it arrives later this year, will be the latest in a string of craft, required to launch in emergencies up to 30 times a year.
The first motor boat The Jose Neville came into service in 1941.
It was followed by the Royal Thames in 1964 - the boat that was withdrawn by the RNLI in October 1969 leading to the formation of the independent volunteer station.
To save the service Skipper Woodhouse pressed his own boat into action.
Next came the ex-RNLI Liverpool class boat, named after the wife of an oil industry boss The Shirley Jean Adye.
Finally, there were the two Bernard Matthews' boats, the first one joining the service in 1991.
The current all-weather boat, The Bernard Matthews II, is said to be in fantastic condition and will serve whoever buys it well.