The Dart RNLI has raised almost half a million pounds for their new lifeboat station.
The team and their local community have worked tirelessly to raise money for their new station and they have already raised a whopping £490,000.
The RNLI hope to raise £1.2m to move to Ferry View House, which is home to the original Dart lifeboat station. They have planning permission to convert the building, which was established in the 1800s. This will allow them to have all the proper facilities to provide assistance to people in need.
The current temporary station, which was opened in 2007, is impractical for the team as they have to drive their D class lifeboat a quarter of a mile across a sometimes muddy park and two main roads in order to launch. This can have a huge impact on their launch times.
Volunteer Helm Rich Eggleton said: “It will give everyone a sense of security that we’re here to stay and save lives.
“Launching across main roads and a sometimes very muddy park can be a challenge. Our new location will resolve this and massively reduce launch times.
“At the moment, we get changed in the boat hall and, when the roller shutters go up, you get blasted by the elements. It’s like getting kitted up outside. Imagine that at 2am in winter!
“The new station site is going to make life a lot easier and safer. We’re really looking forward to having a permanent home, with everything in the right place. We’ve never really had that.”
Dart RNLI is one of the busiest lifeboat stations in Devon, responding to all sorts of rescues in the Dart Estuary all the way up to Totnes and out to sea.
Rob Clements, Fundraiser and Former Lifeboat Operations Manager, said: “It would be like coming home. The crew may operate the kit, but it will be your station as much as ours - for the whole community.”