Wednesday 19th April was a red letter day for Hornsea’s own independent lifeboat and flood rescue organisation as it celebrated the arrival of its new launching tractor. Civic dignitaries, councillors and members of local charities were all present at the presentation and blessing of the specialist marinised launching tractor at the charities boathouse headquarters on Hornsea’s South Promenade.
The tractor, to be named “Emily”, was specially built to specifications set by Hornsea Inshore Rescue to satisfy all the requirements necessary to cope with the arduous conditions incurred in safely launching and recovering the lifeboat in all weathers. Project manager, Ian Worsdale, said, “We have needed a suitable tractor for many years, our current tractor being 25 years old, and after much investigation we took advice from Sidmouth’s independent lifeboat organisation and got a quote from specialists Jas P Wilson of Dalbeattie in Scotland. Fortune really then smiled upon us as we were contacted by the trustees of the John Hollis Trust asking if we had any special requirements. They kindly agreed to finance the tractor and it was promptly ordered. It has specially built and, all in all, the project has taken just over a year to come to fruition.”
Chairman of Hornsea Inshore Rescue, Sue Hickson-Marsay welcomed the distinguished guests and expressed gratitude on behalf of the organisation to the John Hollis Trustees for their input, saying, “When it comes to a significant outlay such as this, it makes a huge dent in our already fragile accounts, we would like to express how grateful we are that the John Hollis Trust have stepped in providing us with over £90k for this specialist launch tractor.”
Trustees for the John Hollis Trust said the John Hollis Trust is delighted to be able to support Hornsea Inshore Rescue by awarding them a grant of £96,100 to fund the purchase of a launch tractor. This will allow them to continue their valuable work in helping to save lives on the east coast. After the speeches and the blessing of the tractor the guests were treated to a buffet lunch and a demonstration of the tractors capabilities.
Hornsea Inshore Rescue (HIR) is one of a handful of independent lifeboat stations in the region and as such they are not financed by the better known RNLI. This means that volunteer crew members have to raise vital funds needed, themselves.
Providing and running high speed rescue boats, jet bikes and a flood team to respond to emergencies throughout the Country is an expensive business, costing Hornsea Inshore Rescue around £50,000 a year. The running costs are exacerbated further when essential key equipment comes to the end of its life, needing replacement. Until recently this was the case at HIR.
Up until today, HIR has managed with second hand, almost standard, farm tractors which unsurprisingly cannot stand the rigours of being driven in and out of the North Sea. The present tractor has been nursed through its last few months of service almost on a wing and a prayer and knowing that the vehicle was in urgent need of replacement presented the independent charity with huge financial headache.
Dramatic Diveboat Rescue 18 miles off Hornsea
At 3-30 pm Easter Sunday Hornsea Inshore Rescue was called out by the Coastguard to go to the aid of Hornsea based diveboat “Norstar”. The boat was adrift, with two persons on board, having suffered engine failure eighteen miles south west of Hornsea. Hornsea Inshore Rescue’s lifeboat “Charity Endeavour” was launched with leading coxswain Karl Shannon, Navigator and radio operator Tom Colombari and crewman Sam Colombari aboard with Capt John Pugh and launch man John Ogden taking care of shore based operations.
Bridlington’s all-weather lifeboat was also launched and Hornsea Inshore Rescue was tasked to assist in the locating of the stricken vessel which had had problems with its navigation equipment and was unable to provide an accurate navigational location. By this time the weather had turned and visibility was becoming restricted.
Eventually the vessel was located and towed back to Hornsea by the Bridlington boat which handed over the tow to Hornsea Inshore Rescue a mile off shore tasking them with the safe return of the stricken vessel to the shore.
Leading Coxswain Karl said that due to the murky conditions and the rough sea once they were so far off shore, it had been difficult to locate the vessel and at around 18 miles out this was one of the furthest rescues the team had completed. It was also the first rescue to involve their new launching tractor which, like the boat and the crew, had performed perfectly.
The two rescued divers expressed their appreciation of the skilful way the operation had been handled, particularly the difficult and potentially dangerous return of the powerless dive boat onto the beach. “We are very glad Hornsea Inshore Rescue is there and provide such an excellent service.” Said one of the divers.
Hornsea Rescue’s Popular Car Boot Sales Restart on Easter Sunday
Easter Sunday saw the restart of Hornsea Inshore Rescue’s popular car boot sales on the south shore car park adjacent to the boat compounds. Plenty of space available for car booters who can arrive between 8 and 9 am – no need for the early starts – and cost is only £4 for a pitch. Over the years the car boot sale has attracted large numbers of sellers and buyers and made a significant contribution to the funds necessary to run the independent rescue service which has saved many lives since its introduction in 1994.
So come along and make some cash or grab yourself a bargain and parking is FREE.
Anyone interested in HIR is welcome to call at the Boathouse on a Sunday or phone Sue on 07796 257989 or Ian on 01964 534302