A lifeboat is more than just a boat to the men and women that crew it. It is the heart of a community and an object that is much loved by many. It was sad today therefore when the Joy & Charles Beeby RNLI Berwick-upon-Tweed all weather lifeboat left the town on her final launch. We were honoured to be asked to escort her from the Berwick Lifeboat Station out into open waters and wave her onward on her journey down the North East Coast. She had given 30 years of lifesaving service to the town and has come to the end of her operational life. We did this alongside the lifeboats from Eyemouth, Craster, Amble, Tynmouth and Hartlepool and Seahouses. RNLI or Independent, the crews of all boats are fellow volunteers, friends and colleagues, working together in partnership to save lives at sea.The all weather is now to be replaced by an Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat which will work alongside Berwick’s smaller D-class inshore boat.