Freshwater lifeboat is among the Isle of Wight independent lifeboats to receive a vital government grant. Picture by Robin Crossley.
ALL three independent lifeboat crews on the Isle of Wight have been awarded thousands of pounds of government cash.
Crews at Freshwater, Ryde and Sandown and Shanklin will share £61,000 from the Department for Transport's Inland and Inshore Rescue Boat grant scheme.
Sandown and Shanklin independent lifeboat will receive £28,590 towards a new engine and tubing for its boat and dry suits for the crew.
Ryde Inshore Rescue has been awarded £18,710 to cover its loss of income following vandalism to its boats in July 2014, as well as new helmets and equipment for the crew.
Freshwater independent lifeboat has been given £14,633 towards 20 new lifejackets and a pager system, which has already been installed.
Mark Birch, operations manager at Sandown and Shanklin independent lifeboat, said: "I am overjoyed.
"We missed out last time but to get this money will make such a difference to us. It's absolutely fantastic."
Aidy Farrell, of Ryde Inshore Rescue, said the money was a godsend.
"It gives our bank balance a boost and gives us that buffer again, in the event we ever need it.
"It's really good news for us, we're well pleased."
Rod Adams, principle fundraiser for Freshwater independent lifeboat, said it made the lengthy application process well worthwhile.
"We are chuffed to have been awarded the money because it takes a lot of form filling and you only have a small window of opportunity to apply.
"We know we have been amazingly lucky and this will help us to continue to save lives in the future."