The village of Muchelney in South Somerset has this week handed a new boat to Burnham’s BARB Search & Rescue.

The boat was originally given to residents of the village last year by several companies to help them during the floods.

However, since then Somerset County Council has introduced a number of measures to reduce the risk of further flooding and the villagers no longer need the boat.

They have decided to lend it permanently to BARB Search & Rescue, which helped people on the Somerset Levels during the three-month crisis.

“A lot of work has been done to reduce the risk of more flooding here in Muchelney – the road into the village has been raised by 4ft which reduces the likelihood of it flooding again,” said villager Alastair Mullineux.

“Everyone is more confident and we’re happy to pass on the boat to BARB on a permanent loan as a thank you to them.”

The new boat will operate alongside BARB’s existing inshore rescue boat for use on rivers and lakes across Somerset, and will also be available in the event of future flooding. A BARB spokesman said the charity is “very grateful” to the village for their support.