UK government lifesaving fund opens for bids

Lifeboats survival craft. Credit: IHS/Nick Blackmore

The UK government’s Rescue Boat Grant Fund, which offers lifeboat charities a chance to bid for cash for lifesaving equipment, has once again opened for applications.

In May, the government announced it had secured a further GBP1 million (USD1.3 million) for the fund, taking it into its sixth year and bringing its overall value to GBP6 million. To date, the scheme has paid for 82 new boats, more than 1,800 items of equipment for rescue operations and over 5,000 items of crew kit to keep volunteers safe during rescue missions.

This year’s fund was launched by Maritime Minister Nusrat Ghani during a visit to Oxfordshire Lowland Search and Rescue (OxSAR) on 4 July. OxSAR has received GBP40,000 from the fund to buy rescue boat, lifevests, dry suits, and other lifesaving equipment.

“These charities do amazing work and I’ve seen firsthand how they help people in their hour of need,” Ghani said. “I’m proud that this fund has already helped more than 100 groups buy the vital boats and equipment they need to rescue those in need. I want to see even more people benefit from this fund this year.”

The fund has opened for bids as part of the Department for Transport’s first ever Maritime Safety Week. The government also launched Maritime Safety Action Plan, which establishes targets for cutting the number of preventable deaths on UK waterways.