Kingston and Elmbridge Junior Snorkellers Club renamed their new safety boat after the murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler.

On Saturday (September 14), 'Milly' was launched with club members after the committee decided to rename the dinghy after Ms Dowler, who went missing in 2002, aged 13.

She was later found to have been murdered by serial killer Levi Bellfield.

Milly Dowler, her sister Gemma and mother Sally were all members of the snorkelling club at the time she disappeared.

Surrey Comet: Image via Kingston and Elmbridge Snorkellers ClubImage via Kingston and Elmbridge Snorkellers Club

The club said the boat's name was chosen "to honour her memory, and her family's contribution to the club."

The ceremony was presided over by Sally Dowler, Milly's mother.

The boat, a Zodiac Futura Mk2, is the largest purchase the club has ever made — the funding was supplied in large part by a grant award from Aviva Insurance and through match funding with local donations and club fundraising efforts — and offers capabilities not previously possible for the Kingston and Elmbridge snorkellers.

Nick Stevens, the Senior Instructor said the boat would enhanced opportunities for children in the area.

"The boat has made such a dramatic difference to our club.

"Not only will It help improve our already excellent safety record, but it will open up new challenges, create new skills to learn, and offer new opportunities to so many children in the community," he said.

The Milly is stocked will a full array of safety and rescue equipment, including a powerful engine, throwing ropes, navigation kit and VHF radio.

The club said it was "capable of getting in close to shore to support the young students in open water training, and can be on hand to deal with any emergency in a matter of seconds."