An old Fleetwood lifeboat crumbling away in a Lowestoft marina is to be rescued by a group of enthusiastic Fleetwood folk.
The Weekly News reported last week how the Ann Letitia Russell, a serving lifeboat in Fleetwood from 1939 to 1976, desperately needs repairing before she deteriorates further and is lost forever.
Reading the story, former Fleetwood trawlerman Jeff Jackson knew something had to be done.
He said: “After I saw it in the Weekly News I knew it would be a good cause so I set the ball rolling.
“I remember the boat as a child and so I decided to see if anyone was interested in getting involved.
Jeff posted on Facebook to see if there was any interest and was pleasantly surprised by the response.
In typical Fleetwood style, within hours of the post on social media people had pledged their support and were even offering donations to help cover the cost of bringing the lifeboat home.
A group called Ann Letitia Rescue Group has now been formed and a meeting is being held tonight to discuss what to do next.
Jeff, 65, said: “I’ve spoken to the owner and he’s tried his best to keep it going but he can’t.
“There is £600 to pay on the mooring fees and fingers crossed we know someone who might be able to help with haulage to bring her back to Fleetwood.
“We just need somewhere in Fleetwood to store her now.
“We’ve raised money quite quickly and we have £1,800 in donations now.”
The group will throw a few ideas around at the meeting, including a discussion about possible places to store the boat on dry land.
The top side structure of the boat will need to be dismantled and fortunately the group has access to the original construction plans which will help in the rebuild.
Jeff said: “We have loads of photos but it’s the top part, which has been altered, that is the main concern.
“In 2018, she will be 80 years old so we are aiming to get her finished by then and placed somewhere where she can be seen.”
Current owner Stuart Godbold said: “I would like her to go to a good home, she’s a worthwhile project and needs to be saved.”
Anyone can attend tonight’s meeting. It takes place at the Mount Hotel, public bar at 7pm.