Norfolk rescue teams given over £80,000 towards new equipment

Hemsby Lifeboat has received funding to pay for a new softrack launch and recovery vehicle. Photo: N

Hemsby Lifeboat has received funding to pay for a new softrack launch and recovery vehicle. Photo: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

Two search and rescue charities in Norfolk will receive a combined £84,000 to pay for much needed new equipment.

Hemsby Lifeboat crew member.Daniel Hurd.Picture: James Bass

Hemsby Lifeboat crew member.Daniel Hurd.Picture: James Bass - Credit: James Bass

The Hemsby Inshore Rescue Service is being given £62,386.56 towards a new soft track launch and recovery vehicle, while the Palling Volunteer Rescue Service, in Sea Palling, is being handed £22,142.70 to pay for a range of equipment including an engine and other pieces of kit.

Dan Hurd, coxswain of Hemsby Lifeboat, said the new vehicle will make a huge difference to the work of the charity.

He said: 'For the Department for Transport to fund this is amazing. It will improve us no end.

'The response time will be quicker, better than what it is now. It will allow us to go down bigger inclines and and not get bogged down in soft sand, at the moment it gets stuck in soft sand.

'All we need to do now is to get the lifeboat refitted. We need to fundraise so we can keep going.'

The charities are receiving the money as part of the Rescue Boat Grant Fund, which was launched in 2014 to provide £5 million over five years to independent search and rescue teams working on inland waterways.

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Over the past four years, 201 bids have been successful, helping a total of 98 search and rescue charities.

Among the equipment Palling Volunteer Rescue Service will receive from the funding is a new Mercury 150hp outboard engine, a Quantum radar and a launch vehicle boom upgrade.

Maritime minister Nusrat Ghani said: 'Our rescue boat teams are the unsung heroes of the UK's waterways. Their commitment and skill keeps people safe on and around our rivers, lakes and inshore areas.

'Lives have been saved as a result of this scheme and our additional funding will ensure that these tireless volunteers and charities can buy the craft, equipment, and other resources they need to provide vital round-the-clock services.'

The bids for the latest round of funding were considered by an expert panel, chaired by officials and including representatives from DEFRA and the devolved administrations as well as expert advisers from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, RNLI and the Royal Yachting Association.

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