A KEEN sailor left more than half a million pounds of his life's savings to help fund a new lifeboat.

Michael Stevens originally bequeathed his beloved yacht, Jasba, to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution in October 2012.

But the crew, based at Harwich Lifeboat Station, were even more amazed to find he had left them a further £540,000 in his will.

Mr Stevens, who had lived all his life in Serpentine Walk, Colchester, had once been helped out by the Walton lifeboat crew after a line from a lobster pot became tangled close to the rudder.

On Sunday at an emotional presentation at Harwich Lifeboat Station, friends of Mr Stevens handed over the cheque to the lifeboat charity and Ms Benton was presented with a framed photograph of the lifeboat in action, with personal messages written from the crew.

The money will help the charity with its running costs and go towards new lifeboats.