£500,000 bid to name lifeboat after caring nurse Annette

Annette Thurlow who died suddenly aged 58 Picture: Dick Thurlow

Annette Thurlow who died suddenly aged 58 had hoped to save lives by donating her organs. A bid to name the new Caister Lifeboat in her honour would go some way to realising her wishes, her family says. - Credit: Dick Thurlow

A bid to name a new lifeboat after a caring community nurse is being launched under a £500,000 appeal.

The new £1.6m Caister lifeboat will be among the most advanced in the world with more comfort and capability than the current Bernard Matthews II in service since 2004.

Annette Thurlow who has died suddenly aged 58 Picture: Dick Thurlow

Annette Thurlow who has died suddenly aged 58 Picture: Dick Thurlow - Credit: Dick Thurlow

Raising enough to be the biggest benefactor will mean it can be named after Annette Thurlow, a nurse and wife of former Coxswain Dick Thurlow, whose sons Aaron and Richard are part of the current crew.

If successful it is reckoned it will be the first time lifeboatmen will serve on a craft named after their mother.

Richard Thurlow said it would be a fitting tribute to Mrs Thurlow, who was unable to donate her organs as she wished.

The conception image of the new vessel.

An artist's impression of the new 14m Medina Class Lifeboat, which is currently being built in the Isle of Wight and will be delivered in 2022. - Credit: Caister Volunteer Lifeboat Service/Diverse Marine Ltd

He said by raising money for the service and naming the boat in her honour she would still be saving lives.

Mrs Thurlow, a community nurse famed for her diligence and discretion, was also at the hub of lifeboat life and had been out on a shout herself.

After being diagnosed with Parkinson's she had to cut her career short. She died in 2018 but difficulty establishing a cause of death meant her organs could not be donated, devastating her family.

Crew and members of Diverse Marine in the lifeboat house.

Crewmember Richard Thurlow, coxswain Guy Gibson, chairman Paul Garrod, Diverse Marine director Ben Colman, treasurer Elaine Anderton, crewmember Adam Pimbel and secretary Colin Willavize were present at the contract signing for the vessel at Caister Lifeboat. - Credit: Caister Volunteer Lifeboat Service/Diverse Marine Ltd

Richard hailed the response of a Just Giving page which had quickly raised £7,500, the family putting in an initial £5,000 to get it going.

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He hoped maritime contacts would be big-givers but said the penny from the local well-wisher was just as important.

Comedian and stalwart Caister Lifeboat supporter Jim Davidson was also backing the appeal and would be collecting for it after every show on his tour.

Meanwhile a raft of fundraising was being planned, with daughter Heidi, the manager at The Smokehouse in Ormesby, looking to host music events there.

Richard said: "We would like to raise £500,000. It is a a tall order but you have to set a target.

"We lost mum in 2018. She spent her career in the NHS and during that time she looked after so many people in the community.

"This tribute will be a way of saving the lives we could have done with the organs, but in a different way."

Donate at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/annettethurlow.

Donations of auction and raffle prizes are welcome.

Richard Thurlow can be contacted at richardthurlow@turnericeni.com or via 07590 849968.

A proud history

Caister lifeboat has a long history of lifesaving and famously its men 'never turn back'.

The new boat, when it arrives later this year, will be the latest in a string of craft, required to launch in emergencies up to 30 times a year.

The first motor boat The Jose Neville came into service in 1941.

It was followed by the Royal Thames in 1964 - the boat that was withdrawn by the RNLI in October 1969 leading to the formation of the independent volunteer station.

To save the service Skipper Woodhouse pressed his own boat into action.

Next came the ex-RNLI Liverpool class  boat, named after the wife of an oil industry boss The Shirley Jean Adye.

Finally, there were the two Bernard Matthews' boats, the first one joining the service in 1991.

The current all-weather boat, The Bernard Matthews II, is said to be in fantastic condition and will serve whoever buys it well.