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A specialist inland water rescue boat costing �30,000 has been added to Norfolk’s arsenal to combat future flooding.

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service now has four boats after the launch yesterday of the Pioneer Multi vessel, which will be a key part of a specialist flood and swift water rescue unit.

The new boat will support existing teams and boats based at Great Yarmouth, King’s Lynn and Norwich, and will be based at Dereham fire station when Norfolk’s Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) team relocates from Wymondham in the spring.

The new boat and a range of other specialist equipment will be crewed by the USAR team, which is funded by central government.

Norfolk’s assistant chief fire officer Roy Harold said: “The new boat follows a review carried out by Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service into its water rescue capability.

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“The review took into account the increasing risk of flooding and incorporated lessons learned during the east coast tidal surge in November 2007 and the national Pitt Review.

“The new boat will give us more flexibility and extra, specialist capacity in the county.

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“Working with colleagues locally in the Norfolk Resilience Forum, and nationally within the Defra-led Flood Rescue National Enhancement Project, Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service is part of a collaborative scheme to significantly enhance the whole country’s ability to deal with flooding.”

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