Lifeboat stations on the Isle of Wight have jointly received almost £90,000 in government funding.

It’s for vital rescue equipment, with £63,000 of that going to Ryde Inshore Rescue for a new lifeboat.

The money has been made available by the inshore and inland rescue grant and is the fourth round of funding under a 5-year, £5 million scheme.

Adrian Farrell from Ryde Inshore Rescue says it’s another boost for the team:

“We’re quite lucky – this is the third year running that we’ve been successful. This is obviously the biggest amount and a godsend for us, really”

He added they are relieved not to have to wait years for a new lifeboat.

“We’ve just finished building a new station that took us probably fourteen years to raise the money to get it up to the state it is at now – it’s only just been signed off.

“Our next plan was to start raising money for a new lifeboat, so what we normally raise and take in donations from people, once we take out our running costs it’d probably have taken us another five, six or even seven years to have the money for a new boat.”

The award sum for Ryde is the third highest in the country.

Sandown and Shanklin, and Freshwater independent stations also secured more than £10,000 each for new kit.

Sandown & Shanklin Independent Lifeboat has secured £16,080.55 for a new paging system and new communications equipment.

While Freshwater Independent Lifeboat will get just over £10,170.54, for new crew equipment, drysuits and waterproof facilities.

Charities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will use this year’s fund to purchase 14 new lifeboats and maritime equipment including lifejackets, helmets, boots, ropes, knives and torches.

Maritime Minister John Hayes said the funding is for a vital service:

“Every day, water rescue volunteers risk their safety to protect the lives of people across the UK. Their dedication and highly specialised skills are absolutely crucial to providing inshore and inland rescue services.

“This extra money means the volunteers and charities can purchase the lifeboats and equipment they need. It means that assistance is never far away for those in need or in distress on or around our waterways.”

Since its launch in 2014, the grant has provided water rescue services up and down the UK with funding for new boats, vehicles and equipment.

A total of 62 organisations will receive a share of the £1 million funding for 2017 to 2018 after their bids were considered by an expert panel.

Chaired by the Department for Transport and made up of representatives from DfT, DEFRA, devolved administrations, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, RNLI and the Royal Yachting Association, the panel assessed bids taking into account:

  • How the equipment listed supports or enhances the organisation’s rescue capability
  • Evidence that the items funded represent good value for money
  • Applicants were also required to match fund 10% of the costs of funded items, and to provide a letter of support from the authority that tasks them to rescue.

Sir Alan Massey, Chief Executive of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, recognised the role of independent stations:

“These smaller, independent charities are the lifeblood of our communities, playing a vital role in supporting the daily lives of thousands of people across the UK.”

The total sum of funding granted to Isle of Wight lifeboat stations is £89,251.09.

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