News : Southport Lifeboat awarded £31,785 grant by Department for Transport
Trustees of the Southport Offshore Rescue Trust are delighted to announce that we have been awarded £31,785.09 by the Department for Transport from the Inshore and Inland Rescue Boat Grant Scheme.
The grant will cover 90% of the cost of new kit to be used by our volunteer lifeboat crew. A lot of this will be to replace older kit that has been used for many years and is coming to the end of its serviceable life.
Tony D’Arcy Masters, Secretary of the Southport Lifeboat said; “We’re absolutely delighted to once again have been awarded with a grant from the Department for Transport.”
The Department for Transport from the Inshore and Inland Rescue Boat Grant Scheme has run annually since 2014/15 and gives rescue organisation charities, like the Southport Lifeboat, the opportunity to apply for grants to be used within that year to meet costs of equipment and other items that support rescue operations.
The Fund was originally announced in November 2014 as a five year, £5 million challenge fund to support the work of independent charities that operate lifeboats and other rescue boats in UK inshore and inland waters.
The initial funding ended in 2018/19 but the Maritime Minister, Nusrat Ghani MP, has ensured that additional resources were prioritised for this further grant round.
Tony continued; “This is the second time that we have benefited from the grant, having received £33,825 in 2016 to pay for half of our inshore lifeboat, the Christopher Taylor.”
In addition to replacing existing kit, some items will be a first for us such as personal locator beacons, personal flotation devices and water rescue helmets.
Keith Porter, Trustee and Coxswain said; “Safety is paramount for all of our volunteers. The PLBs will mean every crew member on either of the boats will have their own distress beacon that, if activated, will transmit their GPS position to other vessels in the area.
“Whilst we hope that our crew will never need to use these, they would drastically improve the time it would take for a crew member to be found should they ever come into difficulty.
“We have also decided to invest in new flotation devices and helmets which will be used during mud rescues instead of the jackets and helmets worn on the boats which are not designed to be used in mud.
“We are finding problems through routine maintenance caused by the mud so have taken the opportunity with the grant funding to buy some PFDs and helmets that we can use on mud operations instead of the kit we normally wear on the boat.”
With the completion of the new lifeboat station due later this year, some of this new equipment will be stored until we move across.
Tony said; “We take every effort to look after all of the equipment we have, ultimately we have to store it in a damp and cold boathouse which isn’t ideal. We’re also severely limited for space and storage facilities where we are currently.
“Once the new Lifeboat Station is completed in the summer we will have ample storage space and a better environment for our kit to be kept in so we will be able to get a better life span out of it.”
Volunteers are now working to order the equipment from various suppliers in time for the fund’s deadline of 13th March.