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'What are the chances?' - Norfolk man's amazing Australian discovery

PUBLISHED: 14:26 05 July 2019 | UPDATED: 15:29 08 July 2019

The former Great Yarmouth and Gorleston lifeboat docked at a marina in Tasmania. Picture: Scott Bennington.

The former Great Yarmouth and Gorleston lifeboat docked at a marina in Tasmania. Picture: Scott Bennington.

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A Norfolk man working abroad was stunned when he spotted the lifeboat his grandfather used to serve on docked in a marina in Tasmania.

David Bennington served on Great Yarmouth and Gorleston lifeboat in the 1970s. Picture: Scott Bennington.David Bennington served on Great Yarmouth and Gorleston lifeboat in the 1970s. Picture: Scott Bennington.

Scott Bennington, 32, an off-shore engineer, was taking a stroll in Launceston, a port on the island, when he made the discovery.

He had been working in the Bass Strait, between Tasmania and Australia, before a spot of bad weather forced the workers to shore up in the city.

Mr Bennington, from Gorleston, said his grandfather, David Bennington, had served as second coxswain on the Great Yarmouth and Gorleston Lifeboat in the 1970s.

After his grandfather retired the vessel he had served on, the Khami, was sold to a man in New Zealand, and his grandson only ever saw the boat in photos.

The former Great Yarmouth and Gorleston lifeboat docked at a marina in Tasmania. Picture: Scott Bennington.The former Great Yarmouth and Gorleston lifeboat docked at a marina in Tasmania. Picture: Scott Bennington.

That was until he walked by the marina in Launceston, when he looked up and saw a bright orange boat.

He told his colleague it looked like an old English lifeboat and showed him a picture he had saved on his phone of his grandfather working on such a vessel.

Mr Bennington went for a closer look and was stunned when he realised it was the boat his grandfather had served on.

This was confirmed by the words painted on the hull - Great Yarmouth Lifeboat.

The Great Yarmouth and Gorleston lifeboat in the 1970s. Picture: Scott Bennington.The Great Yarmouth and Gorleston lifeboat in the 1970s. Picture: Scott Bennington.

"It was really weird," Mr Bennington says.

"It took a long time to sink in."

On the way out they met an older man, who told them the boat's owner, a British man, bought it from someone on the Australian mainland and brought it to Launceston, where he now uses it as a private rescue lifeboat.

Mr Bennington said it is in "immaculate condition".

Three generations of Bennington men - Kevin, David and Scott - on board a Great Yarmouth and Gorleston Lifeboat. Picture: Submitted.Three generations of Bennington men - Kevin, David and Scott - on board a Great Yarmouth and Gorleston Lifeboat. Picture: Submitted.

"I said to my wife, of all the ports I've been to, what are the chances of seeing that boat?"

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Mr Bennington's grandfather, David, passed away last year at 81-years-old.

His father Kevin served on the lifeboat for 19 years.

Scott Bennington, 32, from Gorleston, was stunned when he spotted the lifeboat his grandfather had served on docked in Tasmania. Picture: Submitted.Scott Bennington, 32, from Gorleston, was stunned when he spotted the lifeboat his grandfather had served on docked in Tasmania. Picture: Submitted.

And Scott himself spent 15 years as crew member.

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