Official welcome for new lifeboat

It has already been launched on one life-saving mission but Sheringham's new lifeboat was officially welcomed to the town at the weekend.

It has already been launched on one life-saving mission but Sheringham's new lifeboat was officially welcomed to the town at the weekend.

The new sleeker and faster Atlantic 85 inshore boat, able to reach a speed of 35 knots, is the first of its kind to become operational in the region.

But when the £135,000 boat was launched after its official naming of Saturday, there was no-one in peril and it was able to demonstrate its capabilities for the crowd.

In a ceremony at the lifeboat station more than 150 people, including RNLI members, local dignitaries and members of the public, gathered to see the boat named “The Oddfellows.”

The Manchester Unity of Oddfellows, long-standing supporter of the RNLI and the Sheringham station in particular, funded the new boat.

Oddfellows grand master Keith Adamson said: “We have had an association for over 45 years with Sheringham Lifeboat Station and are delighted to provide the station with the latest class of lifeboat, which should ensure they continue to provide a first-class rescue service.”

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Mr Adamson officially handed the new boat over to RNLI vice president Jim Woodhouse who said it had already proved its worth during an operation to rescue four divers last month.

He in turn delivered it into the care of Brian Farrow, the Sheringham Lifeboat Operations manager.

Mr Farrow said: “We are extremely grateful for the money from the Oddfellows, thanks to the goodwill of their members we are better equipped than ever to go to the aid of people in trouble at sea.”

Mr Farrow went on to say that the old Atlantic 75 had saved 15 lives and rescued another 66 people during its service at Sheringham.

The new boat is 8.3m in length and carries a crew of four as opposed to the three crewmen carried by the Atlantic 75.

Featuring radar, GPS and a VHF direction finder, the crew are able to track radio frequencies and locate missing people more easily.

It was officially named by Alison Adamson who poured champagne over its bow before it was launched into the sea to show the crowds what it could do.

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