Search and rescue teams to receive share of £1m to boost resources

Fifty charities will receive government funding for essential search and rescue equipment, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced.

From rescuing people stranded by raging floodwaters to helping locate high-risk missing persons, search and rescue teams across the UK carry out lifesaving work every day.

One of the charities to receive money is Berkshire Lowland Rescue, the oldest Lowland Search and Rescue team in the UK. The charity will receive over £38,000 for vital equipment, including a thermal imaging camera – to aid their efforts in recovering missing persons.

Other volunteer teams around the UK, including Freshwater Independent Lifeboat on the Isle of Wight, and Maryport Inshore Rescue in Cumbria, have been given funding for new lifeboats, ensuring rescue teams can respond to situations quicker and more safely.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said, “Our rescue boat teams carry out vital work to keep our rivers, lakes and inshore areas safe. These inspirational charities and their dedicated volunteers save lives every day, and this additional funding will ensure that they have the craft, equipment, and resources to provide these services year-round.”

Rob Jackson, from Berkshire Lowland Rescue Team, said, “This funding will help us immensely. We will now be able to purchase game changing equipment like thermal imaging cameras and a brand-new vehicle – helping us to carry vital equipment and people to incidents and support our emergency services in searches for missing people. As a charity which relies solely on donations, this grant means that we as volunteers can support communities and make a difference to other people’s lives.

Bolton Mountain Rescue is another team to benefit from funding this year. The volunteers have been given more than £29,500 to boost their ability to search for missing people in water and evacuate flooded properties.

Steve Fletcher, from Bolton Mountain Rescue Team, said, “We are delighted to receive this significant grant support from the Department for Transport. The money we receive will help us purchase a new water incident support vehicle and boat trailer improving our ability to deploy and support our community 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.”

Since launching in 2014, the Rescue Grant Boat Fund has provided £5.7m to 104 charities around the UK.