New Portishead lifeboat station is opened

Portishead lifeboat station Image copyright Helen Lazenby
Image caption The new £1.9m purpose-built centre has taken a year to build

A new lifeboat station in North Somerset has become operational after it was formally adopted by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).

The charity adopted the Portishead and Bristol lifeboat from Portishead Lifeboat Trust in a ceremony earlier.

A £1.9m purpose-built centre has been constructed on the site of a former Masonic lodge next to the marina.

Bob Crane, RNLI lifeboat operations manager for Portishead, said it was a "momentous day".

"While it has taken 12 months to build the new lifeboat station, it has been 20 years since the Portishead Lifeboat Trust was set up by a group of independent volunteers who recognised the need for a sea rescue service to cover this stretch of the Severn Estuary.

"We have come a very long way since then and along the way launched on 381 operational shouts, saved 14 lives and assisted a further 483 people."

An anonymous donor gave more than £500,000 to help fund the project last year.

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