SIDMOUTH Lifeboat’s bid for a new back-up vessel has been handed a huge £7,100 boost from the Keith Owen Fund.

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The generous donation is half the cost of the vital piece of equipment and crew members must now raise the balance.

They will take on a sponsored 2,500-mile cycle ride around the UK during Easter next year – visiting all of the other independent lifeboat stations in the country as they go.

The team has already raised more than £3,000 by working with the Sid Valley Rotary Club through its annual grand draw.

“The lifeboat crew are very grateful for the support given,” said member Theo Burgess.

The matched-funding from the Keith Owen Fund, administered by the Sid Vale Association, will be recognised with a plaque to be placed in the lifeboat house.

The service needs a back-up boat to replace an existing vessel that is unfit for purpose.

A collection will be made on behalf of the lifeboat crew’s project near the Co-operative supermarket in High Street tomorrow (Saturday, December 21).

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