Patsy Knight set to take to the waves for RNLI at Lowestoft

This is the first glimpse of the new �1.5m RNLI lifeboat for Lowestoft which will be the first of its kind for East Anglia.

The Shannon class is due to go into operation at the town's lifeboat station in 2013 thanks to a legacy of a local woman who admired the brave work of its crew.

Patsy Knight died in May 2005 at the age of 63. She had lived in Kessingland since 1987 and had holiday homes in the village and at Pakefield.

Mrs Knight left �1.3m to the RNLI as she spent many hours watching lifeboat crew launching on rescue missions or practising their manoeuvres.

In recognition of Mrs Knight's legacy the new life saving craft will be named in her honour.

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The Patsy Knight will be the first Shannon class lifeboat to operate off the East Anglian coast at speeds of up to 25 knots and will be replacing the current Spirit of Lowestoft Tyne class lifeboat.

The introduction of the Patsy Knight is part of a RNLI commitment to making sure all of its all-weather lifeboats have a top speed of 25 knots- which is 8 knots faster than the Spirit of Lowestoft can reach.

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Hilary Watts, an executor and friend of Mrs Knight, said: 'Patsy had a great love of Lowestoft and being near the seaside since she was a child, she wanted to give something back to the town, the people and its visitors. So an inheritance gift to the RNLI for a new lifeboat was her way of making sure everyone could benefit, especially as the gift could be a gift of life.'

The Patsy Knight will undergo full sea trials later in the year. It uses water jets insead of propellers and is designed to be self righting and can be launched and recovered from beaches independent of slip ways and harbours.

A new RNLI tractor and carriage will also accompany it.

The coxswain mechanic at the Lowestoft RNLI station John Fox said: 'It is a great honour for Lowestoft to be receiving one of the first Shannon class lifeboats in the RNLI.

'We are all really pleased at the station and very grateful to Hilary for all her hard work as executor to Mrs Knight's will and being a good friend to the station.' Mrs Knight also left more than �1m to Cancer Research UK, which used the money to set up a research unit in London.

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