Residents brave the rain to welcome Eastbourne RNLI's new lifeboat

Eastbourne RNLI welcomed its new station All Weather lifeboat which had been stationed in Kent for almost 30 years in Kent.

On Saturday, February 10, hundreds of residents braved the rain to gather and welcome the new lifeboat ‘Esme Anderson’ which was previously on service for almost 30 years in Ramsgate for the first time.

The ‘Esme Anderson’ arrived into Sovereign Harbour escorted by the RNLI’s D Class Inshore lifeboat 'David H', the current station lifeboat 'Henry Heys Duckworth' as well as lifeboats from its flank stations in Hastings and Newhaven.

Station Mechanic James Wishman said: "On behalf of everyone at Eastbourne lifeboat station I'd like to thank all those who came out in the rain to cheer and welcome the arrival of our new station All Weather lifeboat"

All-weather lifeboats support the RNLI’s lifesaving work. They are capable of high speed and can be operated safely in all weather conditions. They are inherently self-righting after a capsize and fitted with navigation, location and communication equipment, according to the RNLI website.

On Sunday, February 11, under the command of the RNLI’s new volunteer coxswain Dean Park, volunteers from the RNLI took to sea in the new Eastbourne Lifeboat 'RNLB Esme Anderson 1402'.

The lifeboat was joined by the current serving relief lifeboat 'RNLB Henry Heys Duckworth 1415'.

Both Trent Class lifeboats conducted emergency procedures and towing exercises which gave the crew important familiarization with the new boat.

The RNLB Esme Anderson was then placed on active service Monday, February 12.

An RNLI spokesperson at the time said that due to operational needs within the charity Eastbourne’s Tamar class lifeboat (Diamond Jubilee) will be moved to Ramsgate as the larger deck capacity of the boat would be better suited for the calls that the Kent station receives.

Eastbourne Lifeboat Station has a long and esteemed history in the town. The station was established in 1822, two years before the RNLI itself was founded, and has been awarded 10 medals for gallantry over the years – with the most recent being a silver and bronze that were awarded back in 2003.