A Burnham-On-Sea rescue charity has formally unveiled a new hovercraft this week.

BARB Search & Rescue’s new hovercraft, named Spirit of Lelaina II, was formally unveiled at a naming ceremony held during Sunday’s rescue services day in the town.

It replaces the Spirit of Lelaina hovercraft which has reached the end of its life after 14 years of service during which time its volunteer crew have used it to help and rescue over 300 people along the coastline.

Caroline Hall, the mother of five year-old Lelaina Hall who died on the mudflats at Berrow in 2002, was on hand at Sunday’s ceremony to name the new hovercraft.

Richard and Kath Allen from St Andrew’s Church oversaw the blessing of the new craft. Champage was poured over the nose of the craft, as pictured, to mark the occasion.

The new £25,000 BBV hovercraft has been funded by donations from generous members of the public over the past two years.

The new craft has already gone into full service, carrying out several rescues on Saturday in Brean and Weston, as reported here.

Pictured: Caroline Hall, mother of the late Lelaina Hall, at the unveiling of the new hovercraft on Sunday with BARB President Neville Jones, BARB Chairman Mark Newman, BARB Operations Manager Mike Lowe, BARB Deputy Operations Manager Graham Hallsworth and Rev Richard Allen