A quick update.
We (like everyone else), have seen the number of incidents in the Solent (and indeed at the country park), start to increase. Whilst we would like to be out on the water to help and provide first aid duties, at the end of the last year we discovered that our current container had finally reached the end of its life. We very quickly put in place plans to get a new unit put in place, unfortunately, COVID-19 hit us and significantly delayed this process. However, we are pleased to announce that we have now secured a date for the new container to be delivered and would like to Thank WillBox for assisting us. Once the unit is on-site, we will then start to kit out the inside and clad the outer shell so that it matches the other buildings within the country park.
Furthermore, we have also completed a great deal of work on both our boats to ensure that they are future proofed and will serve the Solent for years to come. When we received the Pride of Sidmouth the plan was to conduct an overhaul of the technology on-board at the end of the 2020 season to ensure that we had some of the latest technologies available. Again, COVID-19 struck, and the senior team had to re-assess, taking the decision to bring this Maintenance forwards and complete it under lockdown. Whilst this has added a time extension to getting the main vessel afloat, we are now in the final stages of works and are looking to start sea trials on the arctic 24 imminently. Our D-class boat was always scheduled to have a pod put on to house a chart plotter and fixed Vhf similar to the RNLI boats and we were very fortunate to find Harry Gocher who had a pod from an ex RNLI boat that he was happy to sell to us. So, the boat was taken off to Wales for the work to be completed just before lockdown hit, so unfortunately even though the boat was returned quickly we were unable to conduct any sea trials in this boat. The great news is (in the last week), we have seen the boat return to the water to conduct initial sea trials with more planned to follow.
2019 was a very successful year in terms of volunteer recruitment and therefore meant we have a lot of crew to train. Keeping everyone safe in the ever-changing world we currently live in is our primary responsibility and we were unable to do this in person until we could demonstrate that we were taking the right approach to the COVID-19 guidelines. The great news now is we are now in a position where we have issued a Covid Secure Status which is the culmination of a lot of hard work from our Heads of Department.
In closing, although we would love to be on station serving the community, we have been systematically and painstakingly working to ensure we return to operations in the best possible position. If we were to rush now, there is the risk that critical items could be missed and result in serious consequences that we (and we know you), would find unacceptable.
We hope to be able to bring you more positive information soon please keep checking our Facebook page as this is constantly updated with whats happening.
Our D-class refurb is compete.
We have updated the album with the pictures, and would like to thank Harry Gocher for completing the work.
Solent Rescue One has also had some improvements made in the winter months. For more information click here
Solent Rescue, has received a boost this month - thanks to a donation from Bluestar.
“We feel it is hugely important to support charities, schools and other organisations within the local areas where we run bus services - and many people living in and visiting Southampton waterside travel with us,” said Bluestar’s Calum Noble-Gresty.
“We even run a special Beach Bus to @Lepe Beach during the summer months.
“It was great to meet the volunteers who work tirelessly to help those in distress along our coastline. I’m delighted we are able to support this very worthy cause, by making a donation from our Community Fund.”
Bluestar’s Community Fund is open for applications from charities, sports teams and schools throughout the year - with funding and support donated during two specific months. The next round of donations will take place in January 2020.