Essex

Walton and Frinton RNLI to take delivery of £2.7m boat

The Tamar class lifeboat that will soon operate out of Walton & Frinton
Image caption The Tamar class lifeboat is eight knots faster than the Tyne class it replaces

An RNLI station in Essex is to take delivery of its first brand new boat since 1954.

The Walton & Frinton station will take ownership of a state-of-the-art Tamar class lifeboat on Sunday.

The £2.7m vessel will replace their current Tyne class that has been used by the crew for the past 17 years.

The boat, which can achieve speeds of up to 25 knots and has a range of 250 nautical miles, will be called Irene Muriel Rees, after a local benefactor.

"It's a big day for the people of Walton-on-the-Naze and an even bigger one for the station," said lifeboat operations manager Stuart Oxley.

"She's state of the art, she's brand new, £2.5m worth of technology and she's coming to us."

Once it has been delivered the crew will have three weeks of training to familiarise themselves with the boat.

'Very lucky'

Mr Oxley explained the £1m donation from the late Mrs Rees had been a significant factor in getting the new lifeboat.

"We're entirely run by voluntary contributions, so what keeps us going is the support of the public," he said.

"We're very lucky in that she donated a very large sum of money, particularly to our lifeboat station.

"The majority [of funds] for this lifeboat will come from that legacy and in respect of that the lifeboat will be named after her."

The new lifeboat will arrive at Walton at about 1300 BST on Sunday.

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