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A restored wooden lifeboat, Lucy Lavers, has returned to the sea after standing derelict for 20 years

A wooden lifeboat that served the Norfolk and Suffolk coast, but spent 20 years lying derelict, has been restored and returned to the sea.

Lucy Lavers was built in 1940 to serve as the Aldeburgh lifeboat but her first 'shout' was as part of the Little Ships flotilla which rescued thousands of British soldiers from the beaches of Dunkirk.

Lucy Lavers in action Credit: Rescue Wooden Boats

The 35 feet wooden boat went on to act as relief lifeboat at Lowestoft and Wells-next-the-Sea in Norfolk.

Lucy Lavers at work Credit: Rescue Wooden Boats

"She doesn't look very big but she was an excellent seaboat. Of course we never had a wheelhouse in those days, we had very limited contact with the shore, no radar so it was just down to basic seamanship which I was brought up with. A compass and a watch and that was part of our navigation and that got us there and back without any problem"

– David Cox, Former Coxswain, Lucy Lavers

She has been lovingly restored by Stiffkey boatbuilders, David and George Hewitt, and a group of traditional craftsmen, thanks to heritage lottery funding and a lot of work by volunteers at Rescue Wooden Boats.

Lucy Lavers in Wells harbour Credit: ITV Anglia

Lucy Lavers will start an epic journey down the east coast later this week and will join the Little Ships flotilla as they re-create Operation Dynamo 75 years on. She will eventually return to Wells where she will be used to demonstrate the region's rich, maritime heritage.