Although the station is not yet operational, the charity’s shop in the building, which sells RNLI merchandise and souvenirs, opened its doors on Friday (8th September 2017)
The new Art Deco style building replaces the lifeboat station on South Marine Drive which was too small and outdated for the RNLI’s needs.
The two-storey station offers the extra space required to house Bridlington’s new Shannon class lifeboat and launch vehicle, which are set to arrive later in the year.* This means that they will be able to remain coupled together when not in use, thus speeding up the launch process when the crew is called out on a lifesaving mission.
Chris Brompton, Bridlington RNLI’s station mechanic, said: ‘Our volunteer crew is over the moon with the new lifeboat station. There was a real buzz of excitement when they saw inside it for the first time.
‘The new boathouse offers much more space with proper training and changing facilities. It also houses a mechanic’s workshop, an RNLI store and space for RNLI lifeguards to store their equipment.
‘We really can’t wait for the station to become operational and mark a new chapter of lifesaving in the town.’
The building’s location, adjacent to the beach, means that the lifeboat will no longer need to be taken along the main road to reach the sea but will have quicker and more direct access to the water.
The extra space will also mean that the charity’s inshore and all-weather lifeboats can be housed in the same building, as currently the inshore lifeboat is stored separately on Princess Mary Promenade.
Keith Turnbull, RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager at Bridlington, said: ‘It will be an historic occasion when we launch from the lifeboat station for the first time. Our volunteer crew is currently undertaking an extensive period of training ahead of the arrival of our new Shannon class lifeboat in November. Even though the boathouse isn’t operational yet we do hope that people will pop into our new station shop to say “hello”.’
Councillor Stephen Parnaby OBE, leader of East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: ‘This is a milestone moment in this project and the start of another chapter in the RNLI’s long and proud history in Bridlington. The new lifeboat station will ensure that the organisation can continue its important and lifesaving work for many years to come.’