More good news for PIRSAC

Gavin and George from PIRSAC with Janet
Gavin and George from PIRSAC with Janet

Janet Gibson from Maybole, who has raised £25,000 over the years for Port William’s volunteer lifeboat PIRSAC for many years, has decided to call it a day.

Last week she met with PIRSAC representatives George McKenzie and Gavin Lockhart at the Sands of Luce Caravan Park, where Janet spends most weekends, to receive a final cheque for £1455.

PIRSAC chairman George thanked Janet and all her supporters for their tremendous efforts and loyalty to PIRSAC. Much of the funds were raised at Sands of Luce thanks to the Owner Mr Copeland and all on site who contributed to Janet’s appeal.

A token of appreciation was handed to Janet from Gavin Lockhart as a reminder of how much her fundraising was appreciated by all the members of PIRSAC and George McKenzie wished Janet and her husband Dick every happiness in the future.

There was further reaction to the Gazette’s front page news last week that PIRSAC had secured funding of £240,300 from the Dumfries and Galloway European Fisheries Fund to upgrade their boat and build a new boat shed.

Simon Fieldhouse,Service Manager Dumfries and Galloway Council Countryside Services, who dealt with the application from the Port William Development trust for the funding said: “The project was able to demonstrate wider community benefit and such projects are eligible for an award of up to 90 per cent. Total Award Allocated £240,300, Total Cost of Project £267,000.

“This project offers FLAG (Fisheries Local Action Group) the opportunity to make a significant difference to a small fishing community by supporting a much needed voluntary service. It will be the continuation, redevelopment and creation of an improved facility which will be more widely used by the community and tourists alike.

“Everyone in the Port William area will benefit from the continuing safety of the waters, the young, the old, fishermen, tourists and the local communities alike. There will be a more community friendly facility that offers opportunities to all and a space with various uses for the whole community. There will be increased economic benefits due to increased tourist numbers. The local community and tourists will benefit from increased maritime knowledge.

“The service provided by Port William in shore rescue service is clearly necessary and very important to all fisherman, sailors and tourists that use the harbour and seas around Port William for work and pleasure. The redevelopment will allow greater use of the building by the local community and provide a greater tourist attraction / educational facility through access to the boat house and maritime information. The increased use and increased tourism will provide economic support not only for the in shore rescue, but also Port William as a village.

“The in shore rescue boat and launch craft need to be replaced to comply with regulations set down by the Maritime Coastal Agency (MCA). It is hoped that the improvements made to the building will allow its increased use, not only for the crew, but also as an educational resource for the area and for tourists. The boat and a maritime exhibition information will be available; this could increase tourist numbers and allow members of the community to become more aware of what the in shore rescue service does, the value it has to the whole community and what is involved on volunteering. It is hoped that the redevelopments will go some way to prompting people to come forward and volunteer to be part of this rescue service.

“As the only life boat in this area, run by volunteers and supported by the community, it is hoped that they can continue to give the excellent service to tourists, fishermen, boating enthusiasts and the local communities.

“The FLAG has supported the project at the local level to use the funding to support small fishing communities and through the project we will hopefully reinvigorate and continue this vital local service.”