Hundreds of people turned out on 12 November, 2017 to welcome the new 13m Shannon lifeboat Antony Patrick Jones 13-22 to her station at Bridlington, braving cold winds, heavy rain squalls and some hailstones, to see the new craft make her debut. The new lifeboat is the latest Shannon to serve Yorkshire, joining the boat that was placed at Scarborough in late 2016, reports Nicholas Leach.

Above: The new 13m Shannon lifeboat Antony Patrick Jones approaching the beach at Bridlington for the first time.

The Bridlington volunteer crew had spent several days at the RNLI College in Poole, becoming familiar with the boat and her equipment, before heading home. On the afternoon of 8 November, 2017 they started the first leg of the passage, stopping overnight at Portsmouth. The next leg took the boat and her crew to Dover, with two further overnight stops at Lowestoft and Scarborough.

From Scarborough, the new Shannon and her crew headed to Bridlington, arriving in the bay around 12.30pm. Flamborough’s Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat Elizabeth Jane Palmer B-820 also accompanied the new lifeboat, with the 12m Mersey Marine Engineer ON-1169, the boat to be replaced, and D-class inflatable ILB Windsor Spirit D-721 leading the new Shannon home, accompanied by local fishing boats, which had also put to sea for the occasion.

Bridlington RNLI crew welcome the new boat home.

At around 12.30pm the lifeboats laid a wreath off the South Beach in remembrance of the lives lost during the war and, following a short display, Antony Patrick Jones beached for the first time around 1.22pm, to match her operational number of 13-22. She was then recovered and taken back to the new lifeboat house on the promenade. The new lifeboat is named Antony Patrick Jones in memory of a local man who bequeathed a substantial amount to Bridlington RNLI.

Antony Patrick Jones was an only child and spent his childhood and young adult life in Bridlington. He was a keen horseman and was involved with assisting in Riding for the Disabled. He also enjoyed swimming.

The new Art Deco-style building replaces the lifeboat station on South Marine Drive, which was too small and outdated for the RNLI’s needs. The impressive new building, which was completed in September, provides greatly improved crew facilities, as well as housing for the Shannon and D-class lifeboats and their respective launch vehicles.

The building’s location, adjacent to the beach, means that the lifeboat will no longer need to be taken along the main road to reach the sea, but will have quicker and more direct access to the water. The extra space will also mean that both the inshore and all-weather lifeboats can be housed in the same building, as currently the ILB is kept in a separate building on Princess Mary Promenade.

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