Felixstowe: Vital coastal rescue patrol service saved thanks to donation by Safmarine

FELIXSTOWE: A generous donation will keep a valued rescue service on the water for at least another year, it can be revealed today.

It was announced today that shipping company Safmarine has given the Felixstowe Volunteer Coast Patrol Rescue Service ‘a generous donation’, allowing the service to stay afloat for the remainder of the year.

There were fears at the end of May that the rescue service, which are asked to attend incidents by Thames Coastguard and are also used as a police boat, would be forced off the water when potential funding fell through.

Chairman of the service, John Cresswell, said the sponsorship was great news for the service and for Felixstowe.

He said: “It’s excellent news – we can keep going certainly for the remainder of this year.

“We needed a rescue service here – we are here for the welfare of the community.”

With the exception of a donation from the town council, the service has to rely on fundraising – with fuel bills costing around �100 a day for an eight-hour patrol over 60-miles.

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There was an outcry after it emerged the volunteer service – credited with saving five lives since Easter – could potentially face oblivion.

Safmarine is an independent ship owner of the AP Moller-Maersk Group and has 60 container and multi-purpose vessels. It recently established its UK headquarters in Felixstowe.

Rob Waterman, Safmarine’s cluster manager for Britain, Nordic, Russia and the Baltics, said: “Early this year we consolidated our activities in Felixstowe.

“We have been trying to identify a good cause we could support and identified the opportunity to support John Cresswell and his team.”