Raising Awareness to Help Solent Rescue Save Lives
We’ve recently joined forces with independent lifeboat charity Solent Rescue, helping to raise their profile with awareness wristbands.
Cameron Critchfield has been working with the rescue team for 12 years. Speaking about the running of the charity, he says:
“We stay within Solent locations so we can focus on doing a good job for the community. We’ve hit the streets shaking cans and organise lots of fundraising events.
Locals have been very kind in supporting us. The Langley Tavern pub in Blackfield even put on a two day festival which raised over £4000.”
The team plan to use the wristbands at lots of events like this, offering people a reminder of how important it is to have a lifeboat rescue team.
From Wooden Shack to Fully Fledged Rescue Team
Founded in 1971, Solent Rescue have come a long way over the years.
“When I first joined we just had a decrepit boat house and very old lifeboat with a single engine,” says Cameron.
“Over the years we’ve raised money to replace the lookout with a secure, metal viewpoint. Channel 5’s ‘Construction Squad: Operation Homefront’ kindly offered to rebuild the boat house and we replaced the main lifeboat.”
Sailing Forward and Adapting to Change
The rescue organisation need to adapt and keep up with technological and environmental changes, which can be challenging for a small team.
“The coastguard has changed to a more national hub. So we’ve had to become more independent and do things by ourselves.
“We hope that help from companies like The ID Band Company will raise awareness and more people will come forward to volunteer.”
Before Cameron started as a trainee crew member, he’d never been to sea. Now going from senior coxswain to more of a committee role, it’s an experience he’ll never forget.
“Like most people I was looking for an extracurricular role alongside my full-time job. I fell in love with it straight away so I stuck at it.
“It can be the scariest job in the world sometimes, but so rewarding and I’d recommend it to anyone,” says Cameron.
Beach Safety – Wearing Medical ID
Focusing on protecting locals and tourists visiting their beaches, preventing accidents is a key role for Cameron and the team.
“We’ll often chat to people about beach safety, especially when we know the tide is coming in,” says Cameron.
“It’s just about reading the signs and doing a bit of research about where you’re going. If there’s a local rescue unit, just pop in and ask them about the tides and weather.”
As well as doing your research, Cameron also suggests wearing medical ID and a lifejacket when at sea would help them as a team.
“We often find kayakers paddling out into the ocean without wearing a lifejacket – when we’re patrolling we’ll pass them one and point them in the right direction.
“I’d also recommend that anyone with a medical condition has details of this with them. From a rescue point of view having medical details straight away can speed up the treatment process. It’s those golden few minutes, where as much information as possible will help you save someone’s life.
“If more people start wearing medical ID it will make our lives so much easier.”