Lifeboat future secured

The old Lytham lifeboat in the boat yard.
The old Lytham lifeboat in the boat yard.
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A lifeboat which helped save 30 lives in 58 rescues, looks set to be saved.

Lytham St Annes RNLI launched an appeal earlier this year to save the Dunleary, a Second World War lifeboat which was in danger of being scrapped.

The boat’s current owner, Pat Jopling, could no longer store it as the boatyard she owns in Amble, Northumbria, as it is being redeveloped.

Now an anonymous businessman from Lytham has come forward to save the vessel and return it to the Fylde coast – thanks to stories printed in The Express and sister paper The Gazette. Pete Whalley, of Lytham St Annes RNLI said: “We had two people interested in saving the boat.

“One of them was a farmer, who does this sort of thing as a bit of a hobby, with the other being a local businessman.

“He has got the ability to project manage the lifeboat and restore it to its former glory. He told us he had seen the stories in the papers.

“I believe he has met with the woman who owns the boat discuss saving it. It seems fairly serious. It would be fantastic to have this piece of local history back in the area.”

The Dunleary was built at Cowes on the Isle of Wight in 1919 and had been serving in Dun Laoghaire, near Dublin, in Ireland, where she had helped save 55 lives before coming to Lytham.

Her finest hour was on the night of November 25, 1939, when it helped rescue 15 men in a 24-hour period off the coast of Lytham. The boat launched four times and resulted in two RNLI crewmen John James Parkinson,and George Harrison, receiving special medals for their bravery.

It is now hoped the boat, which would need significant restoration, will be returned to its home on the Fylde coast.