Devon

Devon resort gets its own lifeboat

A south Devon resort has launched its own lifeboat after the last vessel was taken out of service amid safety concerns.

Hope Cove's lifeboat was removed in 2008 by the owners, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA).

Now a newly refurbished lifeboat has been purchased by local people who created a charity to run it.

The Hope Cove lifeboat will provide rescue cover for Bigbury Bay and complements RNLI cover in the area.

'Huge landmark'

Hope Cove saw its former boat confiscated by the MCA after the crew ignored orders to wait for assistance and rescued a struggling teenager.

In 2010, the MCA and government ministers agreed there was a need for a rescue service based at Hope Cove and that the MCA would support a privately operated concern.

Graham Phillips, chairman of Hope Cove Lifeboat, said: "This is a huge landmark for the boat and everyone involved.

"So much time and effort and of course generous donations have helped us get to this point and we are incredibly grateful to everyone who have helped us this far."

The refurbished boat, which will be operated by volunteers, will cost up to£25,000 a year to run.

And a replacement for the boat will be required in two years time at a cost of about £60,000.

"This is just the beginning," said Mr Phillips.

"The long term future of the boat will depend very much on continued support and gaining more from other sources."

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