Cornwall

RNLI Bude inshore lifeboat George Bird officially named

Bude inshore lifeboat George Bird naming ceremoney, May 2013
Image caption Patricia Bird poured champagne over the bow of the new D class lifeboat which is named in memory of her husband George

A new RNLI inshore lifeboat for Bude in Cornwall has been officially named by its donor.

Patricia Bird from Kent, who is in her 80s, named the D class boat after her deceased husband George.

It replaces similar boat, Henry Philip, which launched 69 times and rescued 29 people between 2004 and 2012.

The naming ceremony and dedication service coincided with the 50th anniversary of the D class lifeboat.

Known as the "work horse" of the service, the inflatable vessel is very manoeuvrable and usually operates closer to shore than the all weather lifeboats.

Chris Cloke, RNLI operations manager at Bude, said the "very special occasion" had also been used to remind people of the importance of volunteers.

"We urgently need to find new helpers and supporters, including recruits for the crew and people who can help with our fundraising events," Mr Cloke said.

"We hope this ceremony will illustrate the importance of our work saving lives at sea, and persuade people that there's a lot of fun to be had as part of a local RNLI team."

After the ceremony, during which Mrs Bird splashed the bow of the vessel with champagne, the lifeboat was launched to the sound of a lone piper playing Trelawney.

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