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East Sutherland Rescue Association's new boat to be named Wildland after company owned by funder Anders Holch Povlsen

By Caroline McMorran

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East Sutherland Rescue Association (ESRA) hopes to make a big splash when it launches its new £140,000 lifeboat next year.

The Dornoch based group is already planning how to celebrate the arrival of the vessel which is being funded by Wildland Ltd, the company owned by Danish tycoon and Sutherland land owner Anders Holch Povlsen.

ESRA crew members in the their current 4.8m inflatable Glen Cassley.
ESRA crew members in the their current 4.8m inflatable Glen Cassley.

The boat is to be called Wildland in honour of the donor. Mr Povlsen is not expected to be at the launch, although it is anticipated a company representative will attend.

At their AGM last month members discussed expanding the launch celebrations to include not just Dornoch but communities along the coast.

John Chambers, of the Friends of ESRA, said the arrival and launch of the boat represented a funding opportunity for the rescue service which exists on its own fundraising and private donations.

He said: “We reckon the launch of the new boat and opening of the new lifeboat station is a big opportunity. We should take the boat to Golspie, Brora and Helmsdale and make a big splash. It will be exciting to share it with the various communities.”

He continued: “We are having a meeting with East Sutherland Rotary Club and they will certainly support us. They are involved with Rotakids clubs in schools and there is an opportunity to link with schools along the coast. I think it would be very exciting to get them involved.”

The new lifeboat, which will be equipped with a camera and radar, has the capacity to cover a larger stretch of the east coast than ESRA can do with its current lifeboat.

The £250,000 funding granted by Wildland is also enabling the purchase of a bespoke-designed trailer and a launch and recovery vehicles.

ESRA averages around 10 call-outs per year and is currently developing a new inshore rescue centre at Dornoch beach which will house the lifeboat and trailer in addition to training accommodation.

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