Lifeboat chairman Ron Teasdale, left, and operations manager Mark Birch in front of the site, where the extension will be built. Pictures by Peter Boam.
AN appeal has been launched to raise money for a new Sandown and Shanklin Independent Lifeboat (SSILB) station.
The voluntary Isle of Wight organisation has been granted planning permission for a new building, next to its current station on the west side of Sandown seafront.
As well as the lifeboat, new facilities will include a shop, teaching area, storage and maintenance area and changing rooms.
The crew needs to raise £150,000 to construct the building and is planning to host a series of fundraising events to help make the scheme become a reality.
Operations manager Mark Birch said: "It’s wonderful we have this opportunity to improve our facilities and ultimately save lives.
"After a bad cliff fall a few years ago, it was decided something needed to be done.
"The new station will improve our launch time by more than three minutes and allow us to respond to incidents more quickly. It could be the difference between life and death."
SSILB covers the Bay area, from Bembridge Ledge to St Catherine’s, and eight nautical miles out to sea.
When other lifeboat crews get a call out, the crew can cover their area as well.
Mr Birch added: "As an independent and voluntary lifeboat crew, we receive no funding and rely on donations from the public and organisations to continue our lifesaving work."
A web page has been set up for donations, at www.justgiving.com/SSILBstationappeal.
Donations can be also sent by text to 70070, with the message SSIL12, followed by the amount you wish to donate, which can vary from £1 to £10.
Follow SSILB on Twitter at @sandownlifeboat