New lifeboat named Speedy Sid

Siblings Tom and Hope Barrett who are aged eight and six respectively officially named the new Sidmo

Siblings Tom and Hope Barrett who are aged eight and six respectively officially named the new Sidmouth's second lifeboat 'Speedy Sid' on Tuesday evening. Ref shs 5133-19-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn - Credit: Archant

A pair of primary school pupils gained a new connection to Sidmouth Lifeboat when they chose the winning name for its new inshore boat.

The moniker Speedy Sid was chosen by brother and sister duo Tom and Hope Barrett, eight, and six, who had the honour of officially naming the vessel at the lifeboat station on Tuesday, before the independent charity’s chaplain, the Reverend Brian Hadfield, led a prayer.

Chairman of trustees John Fowler explained that the boat can be dispatched without the need for a tractor, will support the Pride of Sidmouth or fill in when it is unavailable, and it effectively doubles the crew’s training capacity.

“Mummy helped us – it was a team effort,” said Tom. “We wanted it to call it Speedy Sid because it’s really fast. It feels good [to have picked the winning name]. They are probably going to use it for a really long time.”

Speedy Sid arrived last June and has already been out on two shouts. It has proven itself as nippy, manoeuvrable and superior to the Gemini craft it replaced.

The boat was funded by crew members, who cycled the country last year visiting fellow independent lifeboat stations to raise £8,000. That figure was matched by the Sid Vale Association’s Keith Owen Fund. The appeal this week received another boost when Exeter car dealer Livery Dole’s chairman, Nigel Clegg, presented a cheque for £300.

Sidmouth Lifeboat is currently awaiting delivery of its new tractor and the dedicated, 24/seven crew are appealing for more members to pitch in during the week. Visit to find out what it takes.

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