Eastbourne lifeboat named by Earl and Countess of Wessex

Diamond Jubilee lifeboat
Image caption The RNLI's new Diamond Jubilee lifeboat took park in the Queen's Diamond Jubilee river pageant on the River Thames

Eastbourne RNLI's new lifeboat has been officially named Diamond Jubilee by the Earl and Countess of Wessex.

A special ceremony of dedication was held on the waterfront at Sovereign Harbour, near the yacht club, in Eastbourne earlier.

The £2.7m Tamar-class lifeboat has been named Diamond Jubilee in honour of the Queen, who is patron of the RNLI.

Paul Metcalfe, from the RNLI, said: "We are very excited indeed to welcome their Royal Highnesses to Eastbourne."

'Icing on the cake'

Diamond Jubilee first took to the water on 6 February, on the 60th anniversary of the day the Queen ascended to the throne, and was handed over to the RNLI in Plymouth on 11 April.

The lifeboat also took part in the pageant on the River Thames over the Diamond Jubilee weekend in June.

Officially placed on service at Eastbourne on 27 June, Diamond Jubilee replaced an old Mersey-class lifeboat, The Royal Thames, which had been in service since September 1993.

Mr Metcalfe, lifeboat operations manager at Eastbourne RNLI Lifeboat Station, said: "When the RNLI first launched the £1m Eastbourne Lifeboat Station Appeal back in 2011 we were all hugely honoured.

"As one of the busiest lifeboat stations in the country, to be told we were in line to receive a Tamar-class lifeboat was fantastic news.

"Then, to learn that it would happen in the Diamond Jubilee year of our Patron, Her Majesty The Queen, and that the Diamond Jubilee would be part of the flotilla in the pageant; well that was just the icing on the cake."

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