Few people can fail to be moved by the all too frequent whale, seal and dolphin strandings that occur in and around the UK. With an unprecedented amount of strandings to deal with this year, it's thanks to the organisation BDMLR (British Divers Marine Life Rescue) that many of them are returned to the wild, or, if this is unachievable, humanely put to sleep. ICOM UK is proud to have recently provided radio communications to the BDMLR to support the scores of dedicated BDMLR teams around the UK.
Few people can fail to be moved by the all too frequent whale, seal and dolphin strandings that occur in and around the UK. With an unprecedented amount of strandings to deal with this year, it’s thanks to the organisation BDMLR (British Divers Marine Life Rescue) that many of them are returned to the wild, or, if this is unachievable, humanely put to sleep. ICOM UK is proud to have recently provided radio communications to the BDMLR to support the scores of dedicated BDMLR teams around the UK.
The BDMLR is an entirely voluntary organisation, formed in 1988 when a few like-minded divers got together in response to the mass mortality rate of Harbour seals in East Anglia. Now a committed 24-hour marine animal rescue, recovery and release service, the BDMLR train over 400 volunteer Marine Mammal Medics a year. ICOM UK has supplied the team with six IC-M31s to aid the medical team and support vehicles on their rescues.
The BDMLR teams are on standby to respond immediately to any marine disaster or marine mammal stranding anywhere in the UK. All volunteers regularly train to refresh rescue techniques, meet socially and raise funds. With 20 whale-rescue pontoons located at strategic points throughout the UK, as well as 13 Marine Animal Rescue Ambulances ready to be dispatched to any incidents, the BDMLR are fully prepared for any eventuality. They also have four RIBs that can be relocated to a site anywhere in the UK within 24 hours to assist with rescues.
The six IC-M31s ICOM has provided will be placed alongside the rest of the BDMLR specialist marine rescue equipment. The charity deals with an average of 350 callouts each year, and on larger-scale rescues it is vital to have an excellent communications network to operate between their trained rescue volunteers, veterinary teams, incident co-ordinators and National Headquarters.
Andrew Ireland, the Regional co-ordinator for Buchan in Scotland responded to ICOM’s donation commenting, “Our rescue work takes place in some of the harshest environments, and sometimes in horrendous conditions. We required quality rugged radios, which could stand up to rough treatment, being covered in sand, submerged in salt water and would still operate after being disinfected from coming in contact with some of the many bacteria that are often carried by the stranded animals we rescue. We looked at what many other waterborne organisations and charities were using successfully, and the ICOM Waterproof range came out on top.”
“I would like to thank Icom for their generous donation. These IC-M31 radios will go on to be used time after time in rescues which will undoubtedly save the suffering of many marine animals. It is fantastic to have such a reliable set of assets that we know will perform regardless of our situation, and with enhanced communications equipment and networks the safety and co-ordination of our rescues will be much improved. We have used ICOM radios for many years in our RIBs, and have always found them to be excellent.”
Ian Lockyer, Marketing Manager of Icom UK Ltd remarked,”It has been suggested that the British are a nation of animal lovers. Therefore, it is important that as a nation we recognise the valuable work of the volunteers in the BDMLR. I am so pleased that Icom UK are able to supply Marine VHF equipment to assist them in the important, specialised service that they provide.”
ICOM would like to thank the BDMLR for supporting UK wildlife, and for promoting the protection and needs of cetaceans around the country.