The Earl of Wessex met volunteers from Burnham-On-Sea’s rescue hovercraft charity on Monday (June 9th).

Prince Edward visited BARB Search & Rescue where he met crewmembers and saw the charity’s two life-saving hovercrafts and inshore rescue boat.

He heard about the charity’s work during recent flooding on the Somerset Levels and met several of the crew who helped in Moorland and Muchelney.

The Prince also heard about plans to extend the charity’s seafront station with a new second-floor training area.

During his visit, the Prince also unveiled a new information panel on the sea wall with this one featuring Royal visits to Burnham over the last millennium. Cllr Neville Jones led the ceremony.

Over 70 children from Burnham St Andrew’s School welcomed the Prince with loud cheers, waving union jacks, and many got the chance to meet him during his visit.

The Prince also watched a training session from the town’s jetty where BARB’s Spirit of Lelaina hovercraft was in action.

“We were greatly honoured to welcome the Prince back to Burnham five years after his last visit. He continues to show a great deal of interest in BARB’s work and our plans for the future,” said a BARB spokesman.

The visit came just days after BARB received the news that it had received The Queen’s Award For Voluntary Service, featured here.

The Earl signing the BARB visitors book watched by BARB Chairman Mark Newman and Operations Manager Mike Lowe

The Prince meeting BARB Secretary Roger Flower during the event

Prince Edward with the RNLI’s Martin Cooper and Phil Counsell

The unveiling of an information plaque on Burnham’s Esplanade with Cllr Neville Jones, Burnham Mayor Martin Cox and Margo Jones (pics Mike Lang)

The Prince watched a hovercraft training flight on the jetty

Click here for more photos of the Earl’s visit