Dorset

RNLI officially opens new Swanage lifeboat station

RNLI Swanage Image copyright Andy Lyons/RNLI
Image caption The new boathouse will enable RNLI volunteers to carry out quicker emergency launches

A new £8m lifeboat station on the Dorset coast has been officially opened.

The boathouse and slipway in Swanage is the RNLI's first premises to be designed specifically for the new Shannon class of lifeboat.

It includes training areas, changing facilities and a workshop and will allow quicker emergency launches.

Hundreds of people attended a ceremony to dedicate the boathouse and name the town's new lifeboat.

Image copyright Andy Lyons
Image caption Hundreds attended the ceremony on Swanage seafront

The boathouse replaced the 140-year-old building on Peveril Point Road.

The new Shannon Class lifeboat - George Thomas Lacy - has been operating out of Swanage for the past year, but was kept on a mooring while the new lifeboat station was built.

The station also houses the inshore D class lifeboat, Phyl & Jack, which was first brought into service in 2012.

More than £465,000 of the total cost of £8m was raised locally. Finance also came from legacies and the charity's central funds.

Patron of the Swanage Lifeboat Station Appeal, John Whybrow, said the station was "state of the art".

"This is a lifeboat station which all involved can be proud of. It has been made a reality because of the generosity our supporters, donors, fundraisers and station volunteers," he said.

Image caption The new boathouse can accommodate the Shannon Class of lifeboat

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