14th Oct: Helicopter practice
Solent Rescue are an independent lifeboat organisation situated close to our NCI Stone Point station. They seem to have lost of money for gear – boats and a large tractor – but struggle to recruit enough people for boat crews and to staff the station. They are trying for, and may have obtained, Declared Facility Status with the Coastguard.
Most people don’t realise the contribution of independent lifeboats to Search and Rescue around our coasts. It is certainly not helped by programmes like “Saving Lives at Sea” which is simply an advert for the RNLI and does not give a true picture of how incidents are dealt with. In the Solent there are other independent lifeboats (i.e. not RNLI) at Gosport, Ryde, Hamble, and Freshwater.
On Saturday 14th October Solent Rescue were practicing with the Coastguard helicopter. Here are some photos taken from NCI Stone Point with the aid of my long telephoto lens.