A new inshore lifeboat which was officially named at the weekend has already proved its worth by saving the lives of capsized fishermen.
The Glanely Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat was officially welcomed to the RNLI rescue crew at Appledore, North Devon, on Sunday.
But she has been operational since July – and has already attended 15 emergency call-outs, including two on the coastline's notorious bar, when fishermen's lives were saved.
Niki Tait, spokesman for the Appledore RNLI crew, said the boat was suited to the dangerous stretch of shallow water, and described how the crew sprang into action when a boat on its way to collect lobster pots capsized after its engine failed in heavy swell. "It could have been an awful one, but both the fishermen's lives were saved," she said. "The new inshore boat was involved in two similar rescues in the space of just two weeks in August – it's already proved its worth as a lifesaver."
The replacement inshore boat boasts superior equipment for search and rescue, including a faster top speed of 35 knots, radar, a chart plotter and VHS tracking, which helps the crew pinpoint exactly where a vessel is.
It can carry four crewmen, as opposed to three in the old boat, as well as capacity to carry more casualties onboard. On Sunday, hundreds of people gathered to see the boat officially named.
Among the crowds were donors and VIPs as well as the crew members and their families.
The vessel is named after Lord Glanely, who was born in Appledore as William Tatem in 1868. He made his fortune in shipping in Cardiff, but died during an air raid while on holiday in Weston-super-Mare in 1942.
Lord Glanely's nephew, George Gibson, joined the family business, and oversaw its conversion to an investment company.
The G C Gibson Charitable Trust has been a supporter of the Appledore lifeboat crew, and the Glanely was donated by Simon Gibson, son of George Gibson and brother to the crew's volunteer president Bill Gibson.