Redcar unveils RNLI Leicester Challenge lifeboat

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Media captionThe boat has the latest technology

One of the most advanced lifeboats to enter service in the UK is being unveiled on Teesside.

The RNLI's £204,000 Atlantic 85 class inshore lifeboat, Leicester Challenge III, will be based at Redcar.

The 27ft (8.3m) vessel, has been paid for in part by the people of Leicester, and replaces the town's 11-year-old Leicester Challenge II.

About 200 people, including fundraisers from Leicester, are due to attend a naming ceremony in Redcar later.

The lifeboat is fitted with a range of equipment and is capable of carrying more casualties than her predecessor.

Redcar RNLI operations manager, Dave Cammish said: "Our previous lifeboat served us extremely well for more than a decade.

'Wonderful supporters'

"The crew have already put the new boat through her paces and have been very impressed with the extra speed and new kit, like radar.

We have some wonderful supporters in Leicester who have become firm friends over the years and they can rest assured that their generosity continues to help people in difficulty at sea."

Chairman of the RNLI Leicester Branch, Derrick Young, said the city had helped fund three lifeboats at Redcar.

He added: "Even though Leicester is around 70 miles from the nearest RNLI lifeboat station, people in the city really value the work of the RNLI.

"Our small branch of fundraisers are really committed, always rise to the next fundraising challenge and are very much looking forward to visiting Redcar and seeing the lifeboat being christened."

The ceremony will also include a service of dedication led by the Reverend Rachel Harrison, vicar of St. Peter's Church in Redcar.

The Leicester Challenge II was stationed at Redcar for 11 years and was launched 304 times, rescuing 248 people.

The first lifeboat to be stationed at Redcar arrived in October 1802.

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