Larne RNLI has dedicated a new D-class lifeboat to the East Antrim Boat Club.
The new inshore lifeboat, built at a cost of £48,000, was provided through the Pistol Benefit Fund, a charity set up in memory of Frederick (Fred) and Theresa (Terry) Pistol. The new boat has been named ‘Terry’ in memory of Theresa Pistol.
The dedication comes as Larne RNLI celebrates 20 years of lifesaving during which time the volunteer lifeboat crew launched 411 times, saving 31 lives and rescuing 326 people.
Larne RNLI operates both a D-class inshore lifeboat and a Trent class all-weather lifeboat.
The Pistol Benefit Fund has its origins in Frederick Pistol’s incredible life. Fred came to the UK from Austria as a 19-year old refugee fleeing the Holocaust. He arrived with nothing more than the clothes on his back and worked as a fitter until the Second World War started. He joined the Army, eventually becoming a major, and returned to England in 1946 after serving abroad.
He married Theresa, a concert pianist born in Westcliff-on-Sea, and discovered a passion for sailing, one that has been passed down through the family. Every boat Fred bought was named Terry after his wife including Larne RNLI’s new D-class lifeboat.
Allan Dorman, Larne RNLI lifeboat operations manager, who accepted the lifeboat into the care of the station, said: “Every naming ceremony for a new lifeboat is a special occasion and this is no exception, as we honour the Pistol family and their generous life-saving gift to the institution and the people of Larne.”
Fred’s son Neil added: “Thank you for honouring my family and allowing me this privilege. Thank you to the RNLI for being there. Thank you for risking your lives to save others.”