Can you help Hemsby lifeboat raise £200,000? The campaign starts here!

Hemsby Inshore Rescue Service at sea. Picture: James Bass

Hemsby Inshore Rescue Service at sea. Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2013

Hemsby’s independent lifeboat station is getting in gear for some serious fundraising - and we are hoping you can help.

Hemsby broads lifeboat called in action during flash flooding in 2014. Picture: James Bass

Hemsby broads lifeboat called in action during flash flooding in 2014. Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2014

The crew, which saves lives at sea and on the Broads, is looking to buy a new sea boat, a specialist tractor and a trailer. And they need to raise between £180,00 and £200,000 to do it.

The Mercury is getting behind the appeal and asking readers to do their bit, whether it is a cake sale, a coffee morning or something bigger.

People can also show their support by attending the annual lifeboat day on August 9 or the Herring Festival on Hemsby beach on August 30.

Daniel Hurd, coxswain of Hemsby Inshore Rescue Service, said their plan to purchase a new tractor was scuppered earlier this year when closer inspection revealed the vehicle they’d been looking at wasn’t up to scratch.

Hemsby Inshore Rescue Service on the beach. Picture by James Taylor Photographic.

Hemsby Inshore Rescue Service on the beach. Picture by James Taylor Photographic. - Credit: Archant

“It would have been ideal to convert but it had numerous problems so we’ve had to go back to square one,” said Daniel, who took on the historic mantle of coxswain in April last year.

“Now we are looking for a tractor that can be completely marinised.

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“We’re also hoping to replace the boat this year. It’s likely to cost about £100,000 for the boat and the trailer so, overall, we’re looking at £180,000 to £200,000.”

Hemsby owns two lifeboats - one for the sea and one for the Norfolk Broads.

The tractor helps launch the sea lifeboat, while another specially kitted out vehicle transports crew, equipment and trailers the Broads lifeboat.

Inland rescue is important to the crew members, who recently trained to respond fast when flooding hits, and last summer played a vital role in rescuing people in Hemsby itself, when the village was engulfed by flash floods.

The campaign for a new sea boat, trailer and tractor draws a line under a tough few years which saw the Hemsby lifeboat shed fall into the sea on the night of the December 2013 storm surge.

Each member of the trained crew has a pager which can go off, day or night, when HM Coastguard needs their help.

They are on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and work alongside the crews along the Norfolk coast from Happisburgh and Sea Palling to Caister and Gorleston and Great Yarmouth RNLI.

As an independent charity, Hemsby does not receive any funding from the RNLI or government and relies solely on public donations.

It needs about £25,000 a year to keep both boats afloat.

•If you want to hold a fundraiser or donate to Hembsy lifeboat, contact the crew via www.hemsbyinshorerescue.org.uk or visit the station in Beach Road, Hemsby. And you can contact the Mercury too, email lauren.rogers@archant.co.uk or calling 01493 847961.