Icom UK and Seavoice Training have donated two IC-M323 Marine VHF radios to Southport Lifeboat to replace two units which were stolen along with two Search and Rescue Quads bikes at the turn of the year. Ian Lockyer, Marketing Manager of Icom UK and Seavoice Training’s, Paul Harrison and Scott Harrison visited Southport Lifeboat house along with a few crew members for the official hand over of the equipment.

Paul Harrison of Seavoice Training and a member of the Southport Offshore Rescue Trust said, ‘The quad bikes are a unique yet vital search and rescue tool for Southport Lifeboat because of the huge expansive of beaches which can be treacherous at times for users. The quad bikes are used on over 50% of the callouts and have saved many lives along our coast. They are the work horse of our charity and allow our volunteers to access difficult areas of the beach quickly and safely, whilst carrying important life saving equipment such as first aid kits, mud rescue equipment and stretchers.’

Paul said, ‘The loss of these vital safety units was devastating for all those involved with Southport Offshore Rescue Trust. We were all very shocked that someone would steal from a lifesaving charity. The Quads are proven to be life savers and for someone to break in and take them was heart breaking.’

He added, ’The radios are a very important part of the Quad bikes, as they allow us to be in contact with the Coastguard and the other Southport Offshore Rescue Trust units.’

Nick Porter, Coxswain of the Southport Lifeboat said, ‘We are extremely grateful to have had Icom UK and Seavoice Training donate VHF’s for our new Quad bikes. Hearing the news during what was a difficult time for everyone involved in the charity definitely helped improve everyone’s morale. Now they are fitted on our new quads our crew can go out on callouts once again with faith in the ability of the new equipment.’

Paul Harrison of Seavoice Training and a member of the Southport Offshore Rescue Trust said, ‘As a user of this coastline and knowing the dangers of the Ribble Estuary with its miles of exposed sandbanks and fast flooding tides, I know that it’s imperative to have a rapid response rescue service that can cover the estuary quickly. Southport Lifeboat over the years has adapted to cover this area with the use of Honda Foreman 4wd quad bikes. After hearing about the theft of the quads and rescue equipment and realising that such a hazardous area would not have the cover I decided to donate, together with Icom, a brand new IC-M323 marine VHF radio to be fitted onto a replacement quad bike. It is so important that the crew of the quad bikes can communicate with the Coastguard and the Lifeboat House when out in the estuary at low tide.’

Ian Lockyer, Marketing Manager of Icom UK said, ‘Southport Offshore Rescue provide an important voluntary service in the Northwest and we hope that this donation will contribute to the safety of beach users in the Southport area.