Champagne was splashed across the front of Scarborough’s new Shannon-class lifeboat as it was officially named in front of hundreds of supporters.
His Royal Highness, Prince Edward Duke of Kent, president of the RNLI, officially opened the new lifeboat station, in Foreshore Road.
He then named the Shannon-class lifeboat after Frederick William Plaxton, 25 years since the last lifeboat was named in Scarborough.
The lifeboat stood proudly with the backdrop of Scarborough’s iconic coastline, to a round of applause.
The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, led a service of dedication. He said: “For all of you who take risks and are there to save our lives, you need a lot of trust, a lot of confidence in your fellow men and women, and for your courage and your faithfulness I want to say thank you.”
Maurice Mason, a trustee of the FW Plaxton Charitable Trust, handed over the lifeboat to RNLI trustee Mark Byford, who accepted the lifeboat on behalf of the RNLI and handed it into the care of the lifeboat station.
The trust was set up following the death of Frederick ‘Eric’ Plaxton in memory of his father.
The new Shannon lifeboat came into service on December 19, 2016.
The launch and recovery system, The Cairns, has been named in honour of Esther Cairns, whose legacy funded it, along with a local fundraising appeal.
Scarborough MP Robert Goodwill said he thought the huge number of supporters at the ceremony showed that it goes right to the heart of the community.
He added: “This is an opportunity to thank the people who raise the money and we recognise all those who have fundraised and donated, particularity the Plaxton family.
“And their support will be remembered every time the whistle blows and the lifeboat team is called out.”
Following the ceremony the lifeboat was launched, giving a demonstration to the crowds which had braved the damp weather to see the Shannon-class lifeboat in action.
John Senior, Scarborough RNLI lifeboat operations manager, said: “Without donations, legacies and the support of people and organisations like Esther Cairns and the FW Plaxton Charitable Trust, RNLI crews just wouldn’t be able to carry on our lifesaving service.
“Our charity depends on the public’s generosity and the naming ceremony is an opportunity for us to celebrate the continued support we receive, as well as to pay tribute to those who help us by donating not just their money but also their time and expertise to saving lives at sea”.
Heath Samples, RNLI navigator at Scarborough, said: “This day has been two or three years in the making and to have named the boat is a fantastic effort for everyone involved.”