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Rescue teams on Lough Neagh and Bann get major funding for life-saving equipment

Around £175,000 to be shared between four charities

Vital rescue equipment to help saves lives at Lough Neagh and the River Bann will be bought thanks to a financial award from Stormont.

Four charities will benefit to the tune of some £175,000.

The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs welcomed the announcement of funding for equipment aimed at helping to keep Northern Ireland’s rivers, loughs and estuaries safer.

The money is coming from 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.

These will be for use on Lough Neagh, and the Foyle, Lagan and 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.

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