Burnham-On-Sea, Somerset

Updated: April 23, 2009
Prince Edward set to visit Burnham-On-Sea hovercraft station

The Earl of Wessex is set to visit Burnham-On-Sea's hovercraft station on Friday (April 24th), marking the fifth anniversary since the life-saving Spirit Of Lelaina rescue hovercraft went on service.

His Royal Highness will be arriving at the seafront headquarters of BARB, the charity that operates two life-saving rescue hovercrafts, at around 2.50pm.

He will meet a group of civic dignitaries, followed by BARB President Neville Jones and BARB Chairman Mark Newman.

Local schoolchildren will also be outside the hovercraft station to cheer on the VIP guest on his arrival.

He will meet volunteer crewmembers and hear about the work of The Spirit Of Lelaina rescue hovercraft, which is named after five-year-old Lelaina Hall who died on the mudflats in 2002.

The Prince will also visit Burnham Coastguards, where he will hear about the positive impact the hovercrafts have had in speeding up rescues on the mudflats.

He will also unveil a plaque at the hovercraft station, before walking onto the seafront to watch a training exercise involving BARB's second hovercraft, The Light Of Elizabeth.

"It is a great honour to have such a high-profile visitor coming to Burnham to see the work of our volunteers," said BARB Chairman Mark Newman. "We look forward to meeting the Prince and explaining the role we undertake in helping to keep Somerset's coastline safe."

BARB is a 16 year-old registered charity that has helped and rescued over 200 people. The organisation is manned entirely by volunteers and operates two rescue hovercrafts and an inshore rescue boat.


Burnham-On-Sea Hovercraft Web site


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