Hunt for base

LIFESAVERS in Portishead have launched a new search to find a site for a new boathouse - after the initial plan proved too costly. Members of the Portishead Lifeboat Trust initially planned to build a new boathouse on part of the beach next to the town's

LIFESAVERS in Portishead have launched a new search to find a site for a new boathouse - after the initial plan proved too costly.Members of the Portishead Lifeboat Trust initially planned to build a new boathouse on part of the beach next to the town's marina at a cost of £750,000.But trust bosses have now ruled out the scheme on the grounds it would be too costly and have launched a search of the coastline for alternative sites.The current boathouse is on land leased from the Portishead Yacht and Sailing Club and has been the trust's base since it launched in 1996.Portishead Lifeboat Trust senior coxswain Dave Herbert said: "We are currently looking for other sites along the coast where the building costs would be cheaper, therefore making the scheme more viable."The problem with the site by the marina is that the boathouse was to be built on stilts and this made the costs prohibitive."We are now looking for alternative sites somewhere between Black Nore Point and the marina."The current boathouse only has room for the boat and no storage or shower or toilet facilities.There is also nowhere to take casualties rescued by the trust once they are back on dry land.It is hoped, once a site is found, that the new boathouse will have changing rooms and storage facilities for crew kit and showering facilities. The new building would also include an office, a training room and casualty reception facilities.Earlier this year the trust launched an appeal to raise the £750,000 needed for the project.But the appeal has been put on hold while a new site is found.Mr Herbert added: "It is difficult to get anyone to commit to funds when we have yet to find a site."But we are actively looking for another place to build a new boathouse and once we do, our fund-raising efforts will re-start."It costs around £30,000 each year to keep the lifeboat afloat with the trust relying on public donations, legacies and fund-raising efforts to raise the cash.Since the lifeboat launched in 1996, the team of volunteers have been called out 209 times and helped 285 people.


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