Insight into rescuers
Our guest speaker at the May Probus meeting was Tom Hutton-Stott, from the Coastguard, based in Northumberland.
Tom took us through the history of the Coastguard, going back to 1809 through to its development today. It was a long period of modernisation, both for the people who worked as coastguards and the equipment that was used to save lives. Control changed from the Admiralty back in the 1850s to the Search and Rescue as it is known today.
The Coastguard area is vast, covering all of our coastline, as well as the mid-Atlantic, over 1.5 million square miles.
Tom explained through a visual presentation that it rescues in water, cliffs and mud. The Coastguard works hand in hand with coastal rescue operations, as well as inland rescue.
His presentation showed Great Britain split into 10 regions, with bases in each that have at least two helicopters for rescue operations. He told us that the new helicopters are the best equipped for the work they do, as well as being fast and efficient. They are a vast improvement on the old Sea King helicopters we are all used to in Northumberland.
Tom’s presentation was full of facts and figures, and given so enthusiastically that we were all able to understand a little more the immense value of the work done by Search and Rescue men and women, who work so courageously to save lives in and around our shores.
After many questions by our members, a vote of thanks was given by Ian Webb for a splendid presentation. He wished Tom and all Search and Rescue officers every success in the future.