Busy year for sea rescue volunteers

IT'S been a busy year for sea rescue patrols in Felixstowe who have today reported a 53 per cent increase in incidents.The Felixstowe Volunteer Coast Patrol Rescue Service have had their hands full throughout the holiday season despite the fact the weather was one of the worst on record.

IT'S been a busy year for sea rescue patrols in Felixstowe who have today reported a 53 per cent increase in incidents.

The Felixstowe Volunteer Coast Patrol Rescue Service have had their hands full throughout the holiday season despite the fact the weather was one of the worst on record.

The chairman of the rescue service, John Cresswell, said that the high figures are largely a result of amateur sailors who buy second hand boats and the fact that more and more people are choosing to stay in the UK rather than go abroad for their holidays.

He said: “There are more people getting afloat in different types of vessels, what with speed boats and kite surfing, that sort of thing.

“They think they're going to try these things out but they don't realise that there are no lay-bys in the sea and that boats don't have brakes.”

Between April and September the patrol service, made up of 30 volunteers had dealt with 23 incidents involving 15 people and 28 casualties involving 56 people.

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The volunteers cover more than 3,000 miles on patrol and are currently the only marine patrol service in Suffolk.

The service costs £18,000 a year to run but thanks to a campaign in 2006, the team had enough money to fund them for the entire season.

This year the team celebrate their tenth anniversary of service and will be holding a special bash at Ransomes Europark, in Ipswich, on December 1.

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