Widow names lifeboat after husband

A woman will donate a new lifeboat named after her late husband to a Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI) station.

Patricia Bird will hand over a D class inshore lifeboat at a formal naming ceremony at Bude RNLI in Cornwall on May 18.

The George Bird is a highly manoeuvrable lifeboat, able to work close inshore in shallow water, broken surf and areas that other lifeboats cannot operate.

It will replace the station’s former D class inshore lifeboat, Henry Philip, which was on station from 2004 to 2012. During this period the lifeboat launched 69 times and rescued 29 people.

Chris Cloke, RNLI lifeboat operations manager at Bude, said: “It’s always a very special occasion when we welcome a new lifeboat to a station and we are delighted that Mrs Bird will be here to perform the naming.

“We’re very pleased with the D class she has generously provided us with and look forward to celebrating the arrival of George Bird in style at this special event.

“We are also using the occasion to remind people of the importance to our charity of volunteers. We urgently need to find new helpers and supporters, including recruits for the crew and people who can help with our fundraising events.

“We hope this ceremony will illustrate the importance of our work saving lives at sea and persuade people that there’s a lot of fun to be had as part of a local RNLI team.”