Well as 2015 draws to a slightly damp(?) close, Bay Search and Rescue have had the busiest year since it was formed in 1999, with the volunteer operational team members responding to 91 Incidents, totalling 312 hours, and attending 128 training exercises totalling nearly 900 hours...
On Friday the 7th of February we received a call from Lancashire Fire and Rescue to assist with a Large Animal Rescue at Overton near Heysham.
The request was sent via Fire Control for the attendance of ourselves and the RNLI hovercraft to give safety cover from the River Lune.
All three organisations worked as one for several hours, ever mindful of the impending high tide, utilising our specialist equipment, skills and teamwork, concluding the incident with the incoming tide lapping at their ankles and the safe extrication of the cow.
Watch Manager Martin Sherwood of Blue watch at Lancaster Fire Station coordinated rescue operations at the scene. “This is a prime example of how Statutory and Voluntary rescue organisations can work together to ensure the safe and successful conclusion of rescue operations.”
Morecambe RNLI hovercraft crew member Colin Midwinter said “This operation was an excellent example in demonstrating how the combined resources and expertise of the various rescue organisations can achieve successful outcomes under challenging circumstances.”
Not something you see every day... The Marine Mammal Medics we have on the Bay SAR team were called out by British Divers Marine Life Rescue on Sunday 12 Jan to recover a young grey seal who had been seen in a stream near Milburn, in-between Penrith and Appleby, about 50 miles upriver from the sea, and about 1 mile from the Pennine way!!
On arrival it was nowhere to be seen, so a bankside search was done by the Flood Rescue trained team members back downstream towards the River Eden 5 miles away. With no sightings and at dusk the search was called off and the team set off back to base over an hour away.
At Kendal a call was received to say the seal had been seen, unbelievably, further upstream. So we turned around and went back - in the dark. The seal was happily swimming in deep water and proved a challenge to catch, they are surprisingly aggressive and bite anything they can! But it was safely caught and then after checking and with the authorisation of the British Divers Marine Life Rescue advisors and the assistance of Furness Coastguard it was released off Walney Island back into the sea late in the evening.
Our Station officer has at last knocked himself off call for once, but that doesn't mean he's not up to some thing BSAR related. Gary and his family are away on a long awaited family holiday to the Florida, but having struck a shopping trip deal with Mandy, he's gone up state for two days of rigorous training and a written exam with some US Coastguard Certified Airboat Instructors.
Kevin Roderriques ( US Gov & US Coastguard Certified Instructor) and with him the first US Coastguard Certified UK Airboat Operator Gary Parsons ( Our Station Officer) receiving he's operators Certificate.
Gary said " this has been a long hard struggle for us at BSAR" "Airboats have saved thousands of lives in floods around the USA and many other country's and we now hope to follow suit here in the UK"
" airboats are unaffected by debris filled flood water, and can operate in just a couple of inches of water which makes them perfect for those hard to reach area's which conventional craft find impossible"
" Both of my Instructors are veterans of the mass evacuation of casualties using Airboats from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and have been an inspiration to me "
" We never do things the easy route at BSAR, but through our tenacity and want, have been able to safely recover casualties from area's that conventional vehicles and craft cannot in every weather, from the cockerling tragedy of 2004 to the West Cumbrian Snows of this Spring " "and we will continue to succeed with our own Diamond Back Shallow Water & Flood Rescue Boat Airboat"
" this is a proud moment for me and the team, and I can't let it pass without thanking all the individuals and organisations who have helped us get our own boat ready for service"
" so now watch this space"
Gary trained with Florida-3 Airboat Search and Rescue
In 2014 we are launching a new event working with Mark Wear at West Lakes Adventures, supported by GB Bootcamps - the Bootcamp in the Bay challenge will see competitors negotiate a four mile (approx) course of natural and manufactured obstacles along with 'bootcamp' type challenges in and around Morecambe Bay. This is a non profit making event with all proceeds being donated to the team. All entrants will get a T-shirt and a Cartmel Sticky Toffee Pudding at the end, with the highest fund raisers getting a pair of Meindl Cross Trainers. You can sign up now on sientries.co.uk
Bear Grylls the Chief Scout visited the Cumbria Scouts District Cumbree camp at Crooklands yesterday and was transported round the site in pouring rain in Bay Hagglund 3. (photos from Lisa Sumner Photography with permission)
Well... we managed to get from a standing start to opening a lovely, bright, clean, new charity shop on Kents Bank Road, Grange over Sands in a matter of weeks. Phew. Thanks to Cedric Robinson for officially opening the shop for us, and to Otterburn Mills, Northern Print Distribution, H&H Reeds Printers, Janet the new Shop Manager, all the new shop volunteers and especially Bev and Julian Marrow who practically lived in it while they redecorated throughout - thankyou!
On the 11th of May 4 team members and 8 friends will be walking 40 miles from Keswick 2 barrow with support from SIGG United Kingdom - keeping the team hydrated, Wigwam Mills Inc. - fantastic socks, and Daysoutinfo supplying the team shirts. On the day we will be tweeting using the hash tag #k2b214 (our team is 214). the majority of the rest of the team will be Marshalling the K2b at The Red Lion - Lowick Bridge. At the same time Gary will be with Hagglund 2 with Bear Grylls at the Cumbria Scouts Cumbree camp at the Westmorland County Agricultural Society Show Ground at Crooklands - so the 11th going to be a busy day.
408 Man hours (and lady hours) was put in by the team over the weekend. Over 300 litres of fuel used, in total we had 7 vehicles in Millom at different points 2 Hagglunds, 2 Land Rovers, 2 DAF Trucks to transport the Hagglunds and the team minibus/ambulance to bring in and out relief crews. The team 'lived' in Millom Fire station (hard floors!) and worked alongside Duddon and Furness MRT to bring out over 70 people from the A595 near Bootle, some had been trapped in their cars for many hours. The Hagglunds were the only vehicles capable of getting through to cars around Bootle, and at one point there were 24 people in Hagglund 3! The worst weather we have seen in the Lakes. Check out more photos in our galleries.
Dr Alice Roberts joins the Bay Search and Rescue team for a spot of quicksand training and offers herself up as the guinea pig. Up to her knees in it.
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