We had invited Stuart Edmunds from Lowestoft RNLI to our meeting to talk to us about their station. Stuart gave us a slide show of photos of their lifeboat the Patsy Knight. This type of boat is called a Shannon, as all models are named after rivers. This boat is designed to go into shallow waters. We saw inside the boat and how the crew of 6 would sit when they went out on a rescue. It could hold 23 survivors inside and a total of 79 on the whole of the boat and it is also self-righting. Last year they were called out at least once a week to either rescue someone who had fell into the harbour or to tow in a boat or yacht.
Lowestoft have a crew of 15 which includes 2 female members. They often hold joint exercises with the Great Yarmouth lifeboat. Stuart told us that each boat could cost around £2.2million. Recently they have all been issued with a new kit to the value of £1400. This is paid for from the donations made to the RNLI, but Lloyds of London pay for the crew to go through the training. Stuart was asked a lot of questions from members afterwards. He also said he would like his fee to be donated to our fund-raising for the Lowestoft RNLI.
After refreshments we had our usual meeting and twenty-eight members were in attendance which was a very good turn out. We discussed our events for 2019 and the “Member of the Year” shield was presented. Our Treasurer Jacky Lloyd was last years recipient and this year she presented it to our Vice-Chairman Wendy Talbot for all that she does within the Branch, so well done to Wendy. We held a football card where you have to guess the football team and this was won by Audrey Alexander who received £10. Audrey then very kindly donated £5 back, so a further £35 was raised for the RNLI. Refreshments also added the total of £27-44.