Champion fundraisers who drummed up £100,000 are toast of lifeboat station
- Credit: Ella Wilkinson
A fundraising champion and a pack of Christmas tree-pulling dogs have been given special praise by a lifeboat team.
On Sunday Hemsby Lifeboat held ceremonies to thank two of its main supporters over the years.
They saw the crew's new Atlantic 75 lifeboat named Sea Weaver in honour of Hemsby resident Sue Wharton Weaver, who over the last eight years has raised more than £100,000 for the independent lifeboat station.
There were also cheers as Hemsby Lifeboat's new shed was named Newfoundlands Boat House.
It was named after the members of the East Anglian Working Newfoundlands group, long-time supporters of the station.
The group's giant hounds help to raise money for the lifeboat team by carting Christmas trees to people's cars at the Elveden Estate in return for a donation.
The dogs also appear regularly at Hemby Lifeboat events.
Ms Weaver, who raises funds through selling other people's unwanted items on, was surprised to find the lifeboat had been named after her.
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The new boat is easier to launch that its predecessor and is faster and can go out further to sea.
Ms Weaver said: " I am quite shocked. I think the boat should be named Community Spirit to recognise everyone's support in Hemsby."
Lifeboat coxswain Dan Hurd said: "Sue is absolutely great. What she does for the lifeboat means a lot to all of us here."
After seeing the Newfoundlands Boat House plaque being unveiled, Alec Peck, from the working dog group, told the station: "We feel proud and honoured you have displayed our name on this boat house."
Mr Peck also praised the crew for going out in all conditions to save lives at sea.
The ceremonies were made during Hemsby Lifeboat's first ever Christmas weekend market, which has raised thousands for the volunteer crew.
The station needs to raise £30,000 a year just to meet running costs. On average the volunteer crew are called out 30 times a year.
The station also thanked other supporters and firms who worked on the new lifeboat and shed with certificates and words of appreciation.