Historic occasion is celebrated as Duke of Kent attends lifeboat naming ceremony in Lowestoft

The Duke of Kent speaking at the naming ceremony of the 'Patsy Knight' lifeboat in Lowestoft. Pictur

The Duke of Kent speaking at the naming ceremony of the 'Patsy Knight' lifeboat in Lowestoft. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Archant

It was fitting that the sun shone brightly on Lowestoft as the naming ceremony of the Shannon class lifeboat 'Patsy Knight' was attended by the Duke of Kent, the president of the RNLI.

As he addressed distinguished guests, dedicated crew members and a number of people associated with one of the oldest stations in British isles, the message from the Duke of Kent was clear, 'I have every confidence that when the call comes, this craft and her crew will be equal to the demands placed on them and that the high standards and the proud traditions of the RNLI will be maintained.'

There were also a healthy number of spectators who were witnessing the event from the designated public viewing area at the Royal Norfolk and Suffolk Yacht Club on Sunday morning.

The new vessel was funded by a number of legacies and donations, the largest of which was from Patsy Knight after she left the RNLI a share of her residuary estate for the benefit of Lowestoft lifeboat station.

Patsy died in May 2005 at the age of 63 and had lived in Kessingland since 1987. She also owned holiday homes in the village and at Pakefield and had long admired the work and courage of the Lowestoft lifeboat crew.

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Also present at the event was the crew of the Dutch lifeboat from KNRM, the Netherlands Search and Rescue lifeboat station at Ijmuiden, two boats from the Gorleston station and another from Southwold, who joined in a demonstration after the ceremony close to the South Pier.

Hilary Watts, representing the family of Patsy Knight and the donors, said: 'Patsy would have loved to have been here today to see how her generosity is benefitting the lifesavers that she always admired. It is a special day for everyone who knew her; it is like she has come home.'

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Coxswain John Fox added, 'With the jets, we now have a far more manoeuvrable boat which is comfortable inside, fast and super responsive. It is a lovely piece of kit.'

For a full report with pictures from the event, pick up a copy of this week's Lowestoft Journal.

Do you want to pay tribute to our RNLI Lowestoft Lifeboat crew? Email: joe.randlesome@archant.co.uk

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