Hemsby lifeboat crew launch fundraising drive for new tractor
- Credit: Archant
Crew members at Hemsby's independent lifeboat are driving forward a new fundraising campaign - to buy a new tractor.
The team has been offered a specialist new marine tractor to launch its sea-faring lifeboat and haul it up the beach when it returns from call outs.
But it needs to raise the £60,000 needed to buy it, transport it to Hemsby, overhaul it and extend the lifeboat shed to accommodate it.
A fundraising campaign has now been launched and supporters are being urged to pledge money via text.
Alongside this, the 20-strong voluntary crew and onshore team are looking to apply for grants and funding to help them towards their target and are busy organising summer events, such as the annual herring festival, to boost the total.
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Dan Hurd, coxswain, said the Talus MB-H tractor - an ex-RNLI tracked vehicle specifically designed to work in a marine environment - had been offered to the lifeboat and the crew were keen to close the deal as soon as possible.
'The one we have got at the moment is just a farm tractor, it's not designed to go into the salt water so they only last a period of three years and we have to change them,' he added.
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'If we can get this one at this price it would be perfect for us. I'm in contact with the sellers and hopefully they'll keep it on hold for us. It secures the launch vehicle for us and it's one thing we're never going to have to buy within 30 years, or even longer.'
The tractor fund includes £10,000 to alter the lifeboat shed in Beach Road, £5,000 to cover the first year's maintenance costs and £5,000 to buy a custom-made trailer to transport the vehicle.
Dan said the crew was 'constantly fundraising' to keep the inshore lifeboat and Broads lifeboat afloat, and hoped businesses as well as residents would step up to help towards the tractor and lifeboat extension.
The £60,000 the team needs to raise is on top of the £30,000 annual running costs of the rescue service.
Throughout the year the crew gives up 330 hours just for training, on top of extra time for call outs, fundraising and helping to man community events.
? To support the lifeboat tractor appeal text HIRS15 £2/£5/£10 to 70070. To find out more about the crew and its work visit www.hemsbyinshorerescue.org.uk