Official naming of Amble’s new inshore lifeboat

Posted on 20th March 2023 | in Community , Heritage & Tourism

A good crowd of invited guests attended the official naming of Amble RNLI’s new inshore lifeboat.

RNLI dignitaries and crew with the new Amble inshore lifeboat

l-r: Rev Mc Dermott; John Young, chair Lifeboat Management Group; John Wingfield, Lifeboat Operation Manager; Fiona Fell, deputy chair RNLI and crewmembers of the Amble RNLI, with the new inshore lifeboat ‘Alf & Dora Whiting’

Funding for the new lifeboat came in part from Elaine and Gary Whiting, both members of the Mirfield RNLI fundraising group. The boat is named in memory of Gary’s parents. Sadly both Elaine and Gary died in 2018, leaving a very generous bequest to the RNLI.

Invited guests seated in front of the Amble lifeboat station

Invited guests in front of the Lifeboat station

Named ‘Alf & Dora Whiting’ the new vessel was formally handed over to the RNLI by Steve Barrans a representative of the Whiting family, and accepted by Fiona Fell, deputy chair of the RNLI, and John Wingfield, Lifeboat Operations Manager of Amble Lifeboat Station.

Rev John McDermott led the service of dedication and blessed the boat, after which Sharon Barrans, Elaine and Gary Whiting’s niece, officially named the vessel. Bart Rippon, chair of the Lifeboat Fundraisers then gave a vote of thanks.

Highly esteemed members of Amble RNLI join in celebrations for new lifeboat

l-r: Jimmy Stewart and Rodney Burge

Among those representing Amble RNLI at the naming ceremony were Jimmy Stewart and Rodney Burge, two of Amble RNLI’s oldest crew, both held in the highest regard by everyone involved in the station.

Jimmy was one of the first to receive a bronze medal for his part in the rescue mission of the RAF Pinnnce 1836 disaster, when it sank off Amble harbour in 1969, with the loss of four crew members.

Rodney recently received a medal for serving with the RNLI for 50 years. He started as coxswain and retiring from the crew in 1999, after which he became operations manager and now press officer, when he wrote a book about the Amble and Hauxley Lifeboat Station.

A spokesperson for Amble RNLI said “It was a pleasure to have you both here today and for many more years to come with all your storytelling”.

Anna Williams

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