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Appledore lifeboat’s links to the past

PUBLISHED: 12:19 17 September 2012 | UPDATED: 14:05 19 September 2012

Jill Gibson, sister-in-law of benefactor Simon Gibson, officially names the new lifeboat.

Jill Gibson, sister-in-law of benefactor Simon Gibson, officially names the new lifeboat.

Archant

New inshore lifeboat nods to village’s maritime heritage.

LIFEBOAT volunteers and supporters in Appledore have celebrated the official naming of the station’s new inshore lifeboat.

The local RNLI’s state-of-the-art Glanely Atlantic 85 lifeboat was formally launched following a service of dedication on Sunday afternoon.

The Glanely, named after Appledore-born shipping magnate Baron Glanely of St Fagans, has been donated by great nephew Simon Gibson, brother of Appledore RNLI’s volunteer president Bill Gibson.

Lord Glanely, as he became known, was born in the village in 1868 as William James Tatem. After leaving school, he went to sea and served for two years on sailing ships based in Appledore before moving to Cardiff to seek his fortune, eventually founding the Lady Lewis Steamship Company in 1897.

The company later became general investment company W J Tatem Ltd and is today managed by the third generation of the same family.

The new lifeboat has already been called to help 18 times since arriving on July 7 this year, safely carrying seven people to shore including two fishermen.

It features the latest advances in maritime technology and is the product of five years of consultation, design and development, having undergone rigorous evaluation and testing by both RNLI staff and UK lifeboat crews, including Appledore’s own coxswain Martin Cox.

Mr Cox said: “This is the latest boat in the RNLI fleet and is more advanced than the previous inshore lifeboat.

“It’s faster, has more space for an extra crew member and has the latest navigation and communication aids.

“Its range is the same as the previous boat, around 105 miles travelling at the top speed of 35 knots.

“We are extremely grateful to Simon Gibson for his donation; without support like this we would not be able to survive.”

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