Target in sight for lifeboat bid

RICHARD PARR An appeal to provide the West Norfolk coast with a new state-of-the art inshore lifeboat is riding on the crest of a wave having reached almost the magic £100,000 mark.

RICHARD PARR

An appeal to provide the West Norfolk coast with a new state-of-the art inshore lifeboat is riding on the crest of a wave having reached almost the magic £100,000 mark.

It means that the fund for the new Atlantic 85 lifeboat is just £25,000 short of its target.

Lifeboat officials have put the champagne on ice but are already celebrating the speed at which the cash has come in.

The appeal, backed by the local newspaper, the Lynn News, has reached the £100,000 mark quicker than anyone expected.

It places the Hunstanton lifeboat team in a happy dilemma because its existing lifeboat is currently away being given an extensive overhaul making it suitable for another three years service, said lifeboat station press secretary, David Harrison.

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"We have had fantastic support for the appeal and you have to remember that the appeal has been raising funds, separate to the money raise for the on-going maintenance of the station," he said.

He added: "The cash has come in faster than we expected and it is a little embarrassing really but when we have the final amount of £125,000 it might be that the new boat can be ordered earlier."

The new vessel, a Atlantic 85 inshore boat is a modified and larger vessel than the existing Atlantic 75, and it will be built from scratch. It will be faster and will carry more crew and people.

Mr Harrison said that the Lynn News has been regularly carrying articles about the progress of the appeal and this had given it a tremendous boost.

"The response to the appeal has been marvellous and people have been organising all kinds of event to raise the cash. There is a tremendous amount of goodwill for the town's lifeboat," he said.