Chance to say fond farewell to old lifeboat

Crowds on the beach eduring Fleetwood Lifeboat Day.
Crowds on the beach eduring Fleetwood Lifeboat Day.

Members of Fleetwood Lifeboat will say a fond farewell to their old lifeboat vessel tonight (Tuesday).

The Fleetwood station received a £2.2m state-of-the-art Shannon Class vessel, Kenneth James Pierpoint, at the end of June.

And that spelt the end of Tyne class vessel William Street’s time at Fleetwood, after 27 years of active service.

As part of their farewell ceremony on Tuesday (August 30), the lifeboat crew will launch William Street at 8.30pm and take her for one last trip up the Wyre channel, accompanied by the inshore lifeboat, Mary Elizabeth Barnes.

The lifeboat will then make her way to Fleetwood Marina, where she’ll be lifted out of the water and taken to RNLI HQ in Poole, Dorset, on the back of a truck.

That journey should take around six or seven hours by road, but if the William Street had gone by sea the voyage would have taken the best part of week, meaning crew members would be out of action for too long a time.

Fleetwood lifeboat’s Captain Dave Eccles said, ‘It’s obviously very sad to see her go, she’s got us out of some tight spots over the years.

“But she’s helped us saved lives for 27 years and now it’s time for her to step aside and let the new generation lifeboat, the Shannon class, take over.”

The volunteer lifeboat crew from Fleetwood hope friends and supporters will want to say their own farewell to the William Street as well.

Members of the public should get a good view of its final voyage from the Esplanade, Fleetwood, on Tuesday evening, at 8.30pm.