Saturday was a warm and sunny day at Fleetwood Marina. A perfect day for the new Shannon class Fleetwood RNLI lifeboat to be officially named, Kenneth James Pierpoint.
Wing Commander Paul Bell, from 605 Squadron, was present to hand the lifeboat over to the RNLI, on behalf of the donors. Kenneth James Pierpoint was a Flight Officer with 605 Squadron when he crashed and was tragically killed in 1942. His sister, Kathleen, left a substantial legacy to the RNLI with a wish that a lifeboat be named after him. Following a service, led by Bishop of Lancaster, Right Reverend Geoffrey Pearson, Wing Commander Bell officially named the lifeboat and it was, as tradition has it, christened with champagne.
Charles Hunter-Pease OBE, Chairman of RNLI was hardly into his welcome speech, before the pagers went off and the inshore crew rushed off to a call out. A fitting reminder of the commitment the volunteer lifeboat crew give to the RNLI.
The large crowd, joined by High Sheriff of Lancashire, John Barnett OBE DL and Mayor of Wyre, Terry Rogers, were entertained by the Sea Cadets Old Boys Band.
Captain David Eccles, Lifeboat Operations Manager for RNLI Fleetwood said, ‘This has been a fantastic weekend for Fleetwood lifeboat. The amount of support we receive from the public never fails to impress us. We are so grateful for the legacies, donations and good will we receive. Without them, our work would be impossible. We can’t thank them enough.’
Notes to editors
Kenneth James Pierpoint was originally from Altrincham and left university to join the RAF in 1942. He was placed in 605 Squadron and during a training exercise, he crashed and was tragically killed. He was just 21.
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The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.
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