George to be remembered again with new Exmouth lifeboat

PUBLISHED: 10:08 08 December 2016 | UPDATED: 10:08 08 December 2016

Pauline Smith with the current inshore lifeboat George Bearman, and lifeboat crew volunteers Andy Smith and Tim Barnes.

Pauline Smith with the current inshore lifeboat George Bearman, and lifeboat crew volunteers Andy Smith and Tim Barnes.

Harrison Bates Photography

Exmouth RNLI is set to receive a new inshore lifeboat, with a familiar name.

D Class lifeboat George Bearman II will arrive in Exmouth on January 12, replacing the existing inshore boat, George Bearman, which has reached the end of its 10-year operational life.

For the first time in Exmouth RNLI history, the new boat is being funded by the same donor as its predecessor, Pauline Smith, and is therefore also being named after her grandfather, George Bearman, a Coastguard officer who died at sea.

Pauline said: “Naming a lifeboat in memory of my grandfather is my personal tribute to a life lost bravely but so needlessly.”

Inshore lifeboat helm Chris Sims said Exmouth RNLI volunteers were excited to receive the new inshore boat.

He said: “Although we were excited to have the second [all weather] Shannon class lifeboat on station in the whole of the RNLI, our inshore lifeboat is really the workhorse of the station.

“Since 2006, George Bearman has been called out on service 614 times, rescuing 466 people - 28 of these were lives saved.

Because all crew volunteers commit to competence-based training, we regularly exercise on her to improve our skills.

“Over the last 10 years, we have spent 1,468 hours on shouts, and on exercises the total crew hours on the lifeboat is 1,429.

“When you think that the inshore lifeboat is launched for shorter, coastal operations, that’s a lot of launches!”

The official naming ceremony for George Bearman II will be held in late Spring 2017.

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