Humber Rescue celebrates 25 years of service

Published: Tuesday 5th May 2015 by KCFM

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Over the past quarter of a century, the emergency service has attended a range of incidents on the River Hull.

Humber Rescue is celebrating 25 years of helping save lives on the River Hull.

During that time, they’ve been to boat fires, sunken vessels, people searches, helicopter crashes and even a hot air balloon explosion.

They even helped the police with a major drugs haul on the river at one point too.

Paul Berrift from Humber Rescue says over the past few years they’ve noticed a rise in the number of incidents:

“There’s been a tremendous increase in people in the water, either jumping from bridges or jetties. But we still get the boats running aground, breaking down, sinking, animal rescues, and you never know what’s coming next.”

Martin Rumford, also from Humber Rescue, says they can get called out to an emergency at any time:

“It plays havoc with your social life and your home life because we’re on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and you can guarantee it’s either across tea time or in the early hours of the morning.”

He says that before them, there was no-one helping to monitor river safety:

“It is unbelievable that there was nobody on the river at all. There was nothing on a stretch of river like this. The only people you could rely on were people with tugs or work boats. I don’t think a lot of people appreciate what the river’s like.”

Martin says the condition of the river is constantly changing:

“We were out on Sunday, the river was flat, calm. Our boat is capable of doing up to 35, 40 knots but then about a month ago we couldn’t manage 15, it was that rough. The sandbanks are changing on a weekly basis, we can’t just go anywhere, we’ve got to follow a certain route.”

Paul says it’s a dangerous stretch of water:

“The actual river itself changes course, especially from the Humber Bridge going west. So we have to keep up to date with the latest navigational river charts to make sure we don’t run aground ourselves.”

He says they hope to keep going for another 25 years:

“We obviously want to carry on as we are; Improving the building, improving the equipment that we’ve got and training crews. It’s like a full time job. Although everybody involved with Humber Rescue has got other careers, we have to try and fit Humber Rescue in between everything else that we do.”

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Published: Tuesday 5th May 2015 by KCFM

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