Margate RNLI naming ceremony for new lifeboat as long serving volunteer awarded
On Saturday, 23 September, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution held a naming ceremony for Margate’s new B Class Atlantic 85 lifeboat Colonel Stock. The occasion was held before crowds of onlookers in glorious sunshine.
The new £285,000 lifeboat was received from RNLI chair Janet Legrand KC (Hon) by town mayor Cllr Rob Yates and handed over to the station before being officially named by Margate RNLI’s former chaplain The Rev Brian Sharp.
Colonel Stock arrived on 2 March 2022 at Margate’s station beside the Turner Contemporary art gallery on the seafront promenade. In the 18 months that followed the vessel has taken part in 50 rescues, and assisted in saving two lives.
The new lifeboat has been provided by the Stock Memorial Fund; an endowment fund set up back in 1887 by Anna Stock in memory of her husband Colonel Stock. Donations through this endowment have previously been used at Weston-Super-Mare Lifeboat Station and may be one of the oldest endowment funds benefitting the RNLI.
After the ceremony guests walked to the harbour arm to watch Colonel Stock enter the sea from its launch vehicle followed by a demonstration of the boat in action.
Margate volunteer Lifeboat Operations Manager Derek (Del) Amas said:
‘Margate RNLI’s volunteer crew has adapted well with the arrival of the B class Atlantic 85 Lifeboat following a change of asset in 2021. The Atlantic 85 is the 3rd generation of the B class following the Atlantic 21 and Atlantic 75 respectively.
The Atlantic 85 can reach a top speed of 35 knots and is a manoeuvrable and versatile craft enabling the crew to operate close inshore as well as operating in challenging conditions further out to sea.
‘Since the arrival of Colonel Stock on station here at Margate the lifeboat has been tasked on 50 rescue missions and has assisted in saving two lives, the most memorable being a swimmer who had been missing for some four and a half hours.’
As well as the new B Class, the station benefits from D Class lifeboat Alfred Alexander Staden, both of which are part of a family of small inshore vessels which are particularly useful in search and rescue operations where close access to rocks and shallow water is required.
Since 1963 when the RNLI added inshore vessels to its fleet 154,192 people have been aided and 30,778 lives have been saved.
As part of proceedings Del Amas was recognised with a long service award celebrating 30 years service, remarkably on the 30th anniversary of joining the institution. The award was presented by RNLI chairperson Janet Legrand.
In accepting the accolade he paid tribute to the ‘special crew’ at Margate who led him on the path to where he is today and who ‘continue day in and day out to exceed expectations of what they can do’.
Margate RNLI’s B Class Colonel Stock lifeboat can be seen at the lifeboat station, at The Rendezvous. The station is open to the public during the summer months. Group visits can be booked by appointment on 01843 221613.
Notes to Editors:
· B-930 Colonel Stock is the third lifeboat to be funded by a legacy that was bequeathed to the RNLI at the end of the 19th century. Very little is known about the benefactor Mrs Anna S Stock, other than she was the widow of Colonel Stock and following her death in 1887 she left funds to the RNLI with the following request; ‘To provide a lifeboat called Colonel Stock and a boathouse and to maintain a Stock lifeboat on the English Coast.’ The first Colonel Stock was a Watson Class on service at Weston-Super-Mare from 1903 to 1933. The second lifeboat D-696 Annie Stock, again housed at Weston-Super-Mare began service in 2008.
· Margate RNLI fleet is flanked by Whitstable’s Atlantic 85 lifeboat; and Ramsgate’s Trent and Atlantic 85 class lifeboats.
· Video can be downloaded by following this link LINK
· For more stories about Margate RNLI station, including recent launches, visit: https://rnli.org/find-my-nearest/lifeboat-stations/margate-lifeboat-station
Key facts about the RNLI
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 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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