The launch of our new Inshore Rescue Boat was a day to remember. Not only was Portsea Rescue 1 launched successfully, but the Portsmouth and Southsea Voluntary Lifeguards attended two incidents as well.
Whilst on the way to the Camber docks to watch the launching of their new lifeboat, members of the Portsmouth and Southsea Voluntary Lifeguards were asked to assist Gosport and Fareham Rescue Service (GAFIRS) with a vessel that had lost engine power near the Blue Reef Aquarium on Portsmouth Seafront. The speedboat had washed ashore onto some rocks and was filled with water. The windy conditions meant that waves were large and continued to fill the boat with water. Once on scene with GAFIRS and Portsmouth Coastguard, the situation was assessed and decided the best thing to do was to wait for an ebbing tide so that the boat could be recovered safely. The lifeguard members therefore ensured the boat was tied to the beach and above the high water mark. The members then left the casualty vessel in the hands of GAFIRS and Portsmouth Coastguard so that they could attend the launch of Portsea Rescue 1.
Sir Alan Massey KCB. CBE, officially launched Portsea Rescue 1 at 13:00 on 13 May 2017. After a speech from Sir Massey and blessings from Rev. Mike Duff of St Judes, the champagne was poured over our new Inshore Rescue Boat. Shortly after this, she was responding to an incident in Portsmouth Harbour. Whilst leaving Portsmouth Harbour via the small boat channel, the crew of Portsea Rescue 1 spotted a yacht in difficulty that was battling against the strong currents, and making no headway into Portsmouth Harbour. The boat had no engine power, only sails which is why the boat was not moving. Portsea Rescue 1 crew Emily Hines-Dedman said, "The windy conditions meant that the sea was very choppy. The currents leading into Portsmouth Harbour are very strong especially on a spring tide". The boat was then towed into the harbour, followed by Portsea Rescue 1 leaving to attend its own boat launch.
Demonstrations from Lifeguards started the day off at 14:00. 2 Rescues from lifeguards on paddleboards were shortly followed by our Rescue Water Craft and Portsea Rescue 2 collecting 2 more casualties. The arrival of the new Coastguard 175 helicopter, which is based at Lee on The Solent, cued the new lifeboat to get some action. Firstly a orange flare was let off by casualties in the water, of which one was rescued by Portsea Rescue 1 and the other by Coastguard 175 who demonstrated excellent high-lining techniques. Once picked up by the helicopter, one lucky lifeguard member got a brief experience in 175, before being lowered back safely onto the decks of Portsea Rescue 1. The helicopter then demonstrated how a casualty might be airlifted from our boat into the helicopter. After this, a fly by consisting of Portsea Rescue 1, Portsea Rescue 2 and the RWC Jet Ski concluded the event. Guests were then treated to a hog roast and some cake.
Following the event, Portsea Rescue 1 returned to the speedboat which was attended to earlier by the shore crew. Due to the ebbing tide, the boat was now out of the water, and the water inside of it could be bailed out. As there was no hull damage, Portsea Rescue 1 then connected a line to the boat, and towed it back out and into Portsmouth Harbour.
Photos of the event will be uploaded shortly.
Thank You to all who attended, and we hope you thoroughly enjoyed your day.
If you would like to become part of Portsea Rescue, please email firstname.lastname@example.org