New funding for vital inland search and rescue equipment

Date published: 08 November 2017

The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs today welcomed the announcement of new funding for vital rescue equipment to help keep Northern Ireland’s rivers, loughs and estuaries safer.


Around £175,000 has been made available to four Northern Ireland charities by the Inshore and Inland Rescue Boat Grant Fund. The charities will use the funding to purchase five new lifeboats and maritime equipment including lifejackets, helmets, boots, ropes, knives and torches for use in Lough Neagh, Foyle, Lagan and the Bann, as well as some waterways in and around Strabane.

A spokesman for DAERA said: “This is very welcome news. The funding will support the water rescue volunteers who risk their own safety to protect the lives of others. This money means our Northern Ireland rescue charities can purchase essential lifesaving equipment which will support their efforts to keep our waterways safer.”

The four charities who will receive funding are Community Rescue, Foyle Search and Rescue, Lagan Search and Rescue and Lough Neagh Rescue. 

Since its launch in 2014, the grant has provided water rescue services up and down the UK with funding for new boats, vehicles and equipment. A total of 62 organisations across the UK receive a share of the £1million funding for 2017 to 2018 after their bids were considered by an expert panel.

Notes to editors: 

1. The panel of the Inshore and Inland Rescue Boat Grant Fund is chaired by the Department for Transport (DfT) and made up of representatives from DfT, DEFRA, devolved administrations, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, RNLI and the Royal Yachting Association.

2. The panel assessed bids taking into account:

a. how the equipment listed supports or enhances the organisation’s rescue capability.

b. evidence that the items funded represent good value for money.

c. applicants were also required to match fund 10% of the costs of funded items, and to provide a letter of support from the authority that tasks them to rescues.

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4. All media queries should be directed to the DAERA Press Office on 028 9052 4619 or email DAERA Press Office. Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 07623 974 383 and your call will be returned.

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