A TEENAGE engineer won a race against time to save an independent lifeboat charity’s vital £25,000 machinery from being written off by an incoming tide.
Voluntary lifeboat service Maryport Rescue feared the worst when a hydraulics pipe burst on its Trak Tool vehicle and associated trailer, just as the water levels at Maryport South Beach were rising.
Crew members of the water rescue service had launched a D-Class lifeboat in the sea on Wednesday evening as part of its weekly training.
But deputy operations manager Gary Hampson made an emergency phone call at 8.30pm to local engineering firm Forth for assistance, and 17-year-old hydraulics engineer Luke Glynn came to the rescue by fixing the machine in freezing weather conditions and in the pitch dark.
Gary said: “When the Tool Trak and trailer stopped working, it felt like the worst case scenario as the tide was coming in fast and the machinery cost £25,000, and it would have been completely damaged if it had come into contact with the water.
“We are an independent rescue service which relies on donations from the public, and raising £25,000 to replace the machine isn’t very easy.
“We put out an emergency call to Forth and, within minutes, Luke was at the scene, and he set out to work fixing the problem in zero degrees temperatures and pitch black darkness.
“Nothing was a bother to him even though time was against him and the tide was coming in quicker than we expected. Not only did Luke fix the problem, he stuck around and followed us back to the station to make sure we didn’t experience any further problems.
“He is a credit to the area and to Forth, and we’re so thankful that he gave up his time so late at night, especially when it was as cold as it was, to do us a good deed. We can’t emphasise enough the value of his work because it would have been disastrous to Maryport Rescue if we were to be without such a vital piece of machinery.”
Luke, who lives five miles away in Seaton, said he didn’t hesitate in helping out as he is appreciative of the life-saving work the volunteers at Maryport Rescue carry out.
“I’m just pleased that I was able to help out such an amazing charity,” he said. “These volunteers go out and save people’s lives in freezing cold temperatures, so I didn’t think twice about helping them out even though it was cold and dark.
“As a company, Forth encourages its staff to support the community and help out local causes and initiatives, and I saw this as a way of giving something back to a brilliant organisation.”
Maryport Rescue operates a swift water and rescue flood team in addition to its primary role as an independent lifeboat rescue, and also has 4×4 capability through the use of two Land Rovers.
Last week, Forth won the Best Community Involvement Award at this year’s in-Cumbria Business Awards.