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Company’s indoor water facility enables emergency lifeboat trials for voluntary rescue crews

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VOLUNTEERS at an independent water rescue service were able to carry out life-saving trials after a local business donated the use of its indoor deep water test facility.

In order to be able to support any coastguard co-ordinated incidents in the Lake District, voluntary lifeboat service Maryport Rescue is required to have an asset available for immediate use by request of HM Coastguard, the Lifeboat’s Maritime tasking authority.

To ensure the crews could provide the required assistance in potentially life-threatening emergencies, the independent lifeboat asked engineering company Forth if it could use its deep recovery facility located in its headquarters in nearby Flimby to undertake stability trials of its Emergency Response Boat (ERB).

Measuring 22.5 metres in length and 10 metres wide, with a depth of six metres, Forth’s pool is one of the largest indoor wet test facilities in the UK.

Using the facility allowed Maryport Rescue, an independent lifeboat flood, swift water and search and rescue service operated by more than 35 volunteers, to carry out the tests in a controlled environment, enabling the crew to run through a detailed test schedule.

Gary Hampson, the Deputy Operations Manager at Maryport Rescue, said: “Extensive testing was undertaken in line with the requirements set out within the Rescue Boat Code of Practice, a document that all lifeboats within the UK are required to adhere to if they are to be used as a declared facility of HM Coastguard.

“To allow these trials to happen, we contacted Forth asking for support in a controlled environment and we are extremely grateful to receive great assistance from such a community spirited business.

“As Maryport Rescue is independent of the RNLI and government organisations, we rely on donations and the support of the public to keep us afloat to carry out life-saving rescues 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

“Without such fantastic support from the likes of Forth and other supporters, we wouldn’t be able to carry out a vital service to those who might find themselves in difficulties, so we would like to extend a huge thank you to all those that support us.”

Forth, an award-winning advanced technology solutions business formed in Flimby in 2001, is a keen supporter of the local community, and the assistance provided to Maryport Rescue was the latest in a long line of causes and initiatives it has helped.

Graham Cartwright, the company’s projects manager, said: “After being approached by Maryport Rescue asking whether the crews could carry out these trials at our facility, we immediately wanted to help.

“The volunteers do an amazing job all year round in some of the most difficult conditions, and their work is literally life-saving.

“You have to admire their passion and commitment to keeping people safe and that was why we had no hesitation in allowing them to use our deep recovery facility to ensure they can continue to carry out vital rescue services in emergency situations.”

Maryport Rescue operates a swift water and rescue flood team in addition to its ERB team, and also has 4×4 capability through the use of two Land Rovers.

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