As Margate seafront was bathed October sunshine this afternoon ( October 5), the town’s RNLI station held the naming ceremony and service of dedication for its new inshore lifeboat.
The D-841 Alfred Alexander Staden arrived at the station on Thursday and, after the crew had taken it afloat, the boat was brought back to the station and cleaned down for today’s ceremony. The inshore boat joins the station’s all-weather lifeboat, the Mersey class Leonard Kent.
The volunteer crew members were delighted to welcome Hope Staden whose husband, Freddie, left the generous legacy which has allowed the new boat to be provided for the station.
He served in the army and was involved in the D Day landings as well as being stationed in Europe. After a successful business career, Mr Staden donated generously to his local hospital in Northampton as well as to the RNLI. As a keen sailor, Mr Staden understood well the dangers of the sea and served as an RNLI life governor for many years, supporting the lifesaving work of the charity and its volunteers.
Mrs Staden said: “I consider myself very fortunate to have known and been married to this wonderful, generous man.”
Inshore lifeboat leader, Connor Edwards, presented Mrs Staden with a bouquet as a token of the station’s appreciation.
Margate’s previous inshore boat, Tigger Three, had served the town very well for ten years but was due for replacement and the D class Alfred Alexander Staden will provide much needed safety cover for water users in the area. D class inshore lifeboats are often referred to as ‘the workhorse of the RNLI’ as they’re highly manoeuvrable and usually operate closer to shore than the charity’s all-weather lifeboats. They come into their own for searches and rescues in the surf, shallow water and confined locations – often close to cliffs and among rocks.
2019 has been a very busy year for the station with the all-weather boat having launched already on 15 occasions and the inshore boat on 25. The volunteer crew attend a huge variety of rescues involving vessels in the Channel, swimmers and walkers who are stranded or in trouble, and those swept out to sea on inflatables. The charity is separate from the Coastguard, independent of Government and relies on its volunteers and supporters to run the lifesaving service. Six out of ten of the RNLI’s launches are only possible thanks to the generous legacies left by supporters.
Report Peter Barker