A new era has dawned for Port William’s volunteer lifeboat crew with the unveiling this week of a new £65,000 rescue craft.
The new boat is the first stage of a complete revamp of the community funded lifeboat service, with a brand new lifeboat shed due to be opened in the early autumn.
The transformation of the life-saving organisation was kick-started two years ago when PIRSAC (the Port William Inshore Rescue Service) received £240,300 from the Dumfries and Galloway European Fisheries Fund via FLAG (Fisheries Local Action Group).
The total cost of the ambitious project is £267,000 and PIRSAC has received further funding from Dumfries and Galloway Council and Marine Scotland. The crew themselves were given the target of raising £10,000 towards the cost and they are already half-way there through their innovative ‘Buy a Brick for PIRSAC’ fundraiser.
The public can help them reach their goal by purchaseing bricks for the building at £10 each, adding on personal messages so the brick message wall can become a feature in the new shed, alongside lockers for the crew gifted from Turnberry Golf Club after its recent refurbishment.
PIRSAC spokesman George McKenzie said: “The brick wall has become quite a talking point!
“We will be doing our first sea trials with the boat within the next couple of weeks once the crew familiarise themselves with the new equipment.
“Raising funds is constant for us as we are self-funding, we have no connection or support from the RNLI.
“Local people are very generous to us and we make sure we stretch our funds as far as they will go.”
To buy a brick contact the PIRSAC crew or go to their Facebook page.