Delighted crewmembers at Burnham-On-Sea’s hovercraft rescue charity BARB are celebrating this week after completing a major fundraising campaign to buy a new £60,000 hovercraft.
Donations for the new life-saving craft have poured in since the campaign was launched last autumn.
Now the final target has been reached, final preparations are being made to place an order for the new hovercraft, which is expected to go on service next year.
Donations have ranged from just a few pennies up to £10,000 from Burnham’s Retreat Holiday Park, over £9,000 from holidaymakers at Brean’s Diamond Farm Holiday Park and £5,000 from Burnham-On-Sea Rotary Club.
“We are absolutely delighted that our target has been reached after a huge amount of fundraising activities,” said BARB Chairman Mark Newman.
“In the midst of a recession, it is no mean feat to raise such a sum in nine months. It is testament to the generosity of BARB’s supporters and a huge thank you goes to everyone who has supported us.”
The new craft will replace Burnham’s Light Of Elizabeth (pictured above rescuing nine people last month), which is reaching the end of its life after being heavily used in rescues and in training during recent years.
The new Italian-designed hovercraft will be bigger and more versatile and will be identical to the model used by Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue.
The successful fundraising campaign was run in conjunction with the Western Daily Press newspaper.
BARB has annual running costs of £30,000 and the charity relies on donations for its ongoing maintenance costs, so its fundraising activities are ongoing with more events planned over the summer, including Burnham’s annual ESCAPE Day on Sunday August 15th.
The independent charity has helped and rescued more than 200 people during the 19 years it has been running.
Official BARB Hovercraft Web site