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Tuesday, 07 July 2015

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New boat marks new chapter for Cumbria village’s lifesaving team

AFTER more than four decades and hundreds of people saved, a coastal community came out in force to mark the next chapter for their local volunteer rescue crew.

Haverigg Inshore Rescue Team was formed in 1973 after a local boy drowned in a boating accident.

On Saturday, the group held an open day to unveil their latest acquisition, a top-of-the range lifeboat acquired secondhand from the RNLI.

The craft has been fully kitted out with a new outboard motor and navigational systems at a cost of £40,000.

The amount has been accumulated over many years thanks to community fundraising events, legacy donations and charitable contributions from local firms like Sellafield.

Gary Mitchell, who has been a member of the team since 1976, said: “The money comes from a lot of different places really.

“We don’t get funding from the RNLI, the government or even the lottery, they don’t even have a category for us to apply.

“It’s needed, because, after Barrow Lifeboat Station, then there isn’t another one until St Bees.”

Saturday’s open day was an opportunity to celebrate 40 years of the rescue team but also to look to the future as the group goes from strength to strength.

Mr Mitchell said: “This is the sixth lifeboat we’ve had in 41 years. We started off with small boats and doing rescues in the estuary and, over the years, we’ve been doing more and more rescues out at sea so we need a bigger boat to do that.

“We’ve built our reputation because of our professionalism and we’ve got a lot of young members signing up so they will get trained and get the experience and pass it on.

“It was an excellent day all round. We had the good weather and we had a good turnout, with people looking around the boathouse and asking the crew questions.”

A dedication service for the new boat was held by Reverend Mr Fred Roeschlaub.


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