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Lifeline for rescue crew

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A WATER search and rescue service charity near Dumfries has received a significant funding boost.

Nith Inshore Rescue (NIR) have secured a grant of £69,000 from the UK Department for Transport to replace specialist lifeboat equipment.

The rescue team – that serves the Upper Solway and surrounding area, from a base at Glencaple – needs a total of £85,000 for the project which includes the replacement of ageing lifeboat engines for its biggest lifeboat St John, which was purchased in 2009. The new engines will be specifically designed for the St John Lifeboat and installed by specialist engineers.

The group’s second lifeboat, which is regularly deployed by road to areas in the Upper Solway Firth in low water conditions and inland, will benefit from a new twin-axle trailer. Ageing drysuits and protective equipment, that keep volunteers as safe as possible, will also be replaced.

Chairman of Nith Inshore Rescue Robbie Cowan said the group are delighted to have secured the funding. He added: “This investment will both enhance our capabilities and reduce the risk of our emergency service being interrupted by unplanned and costly maintenance, this in turn ensures that every penny of the vital ongoing donations we receive can be used for our annual running costs. “NIR continues to depend on the support of local people, business and organisations and organisations.”

Dumfriesshire MP David Mundell, who highlighted the NIR crew’s need for replacement equipment with the UK Government, yesterday welcomed the announcement. He said: “The volunteers who maintain, fund-raise and crew NIR boats have been doing a magnificent job for almost 40 years and this financial support from the UK Government acknowledges that tremendous contribution.”

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