Tuesday, 9 March 2010

ABC Wednesday - H

Hovercraft






The little seaside town I live in is situated in the Bristol Channel, at the mouth of the River Parrett and Bridgwater Bay. It has the second highest tidal range in the world, second only to the Bay of Fundy in Eastern Canada. When the tide is out it reveals mudflats which are hazardous to shipping and extremely dangerous to any individual who may venture onto them. There are many warning signs right along the beaches but at times these are ignored and anyone out on the mud may find themselves sinking into it. A fast incoming tide obviously puts anyone at extreme risk. Just such a tragedy occurred in June 2002 when a little 5 year old girl, Lelaina, was trapped and no-one was able to reach her in time to save her.

Everyone was horrified and appalled and with the help of a local newspaper fundraising escalated to enable the purchase of a fully equipped rescue Hovercraft which could be used at such times. BARB, the group formed in 1992 to man and run a hovercraft, were already fundraising to purchase the first rescue craft and boathouse. (We have had a lifeboat here since 1866 but of course that is of little use on mud). The tragedy of the loss of little Lelaina made the purchase much more necessary and urgent. So, after a very successful campaign, we now we have a Hovercraft, The Spirit of Lelaina, which was launched in March 2004 and in its first summer went to the rescue of 50 people and has been put to good use ever since. HRH Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex is a patron of a new hovercraft campaign, begun in order to raise £60,000 for a replacement craft.

The above photographs of our rescue Hovercraft are not mine - I have walked along by the Hovercraft Station many times but it is rarely on view, so the picture is from a local site and you can read more about it here, here and, if you are interested in its specification - here.

This is the Hovercraft station - just along the road from where I live.



These hazard signs are everywhere along the beach and esplanade.



We rarely see the hovercraft, only occasionally, when it is out for training purposes, which is fortunate for all concerned.


Thanks to Mrs Denise Nesbitt and her team who host ABC Wednesday. For more takes on the letter H, please click here.

28 comments:

Sylvia K said...

What an interesting post for the H day and how wonderful that they have the hovercraft to aid in rescues. Sad they weren't in time to save the little 5 year old! Have a great week, Anne!

Sylvia

Babooshka said...

We don't have call for the hovercraft this way, which is a shame. I'd love to see them around the island.

Life with Kaishon said...

What a wonderful post. I learned something new! I am glad your town is ready to help people in need! : )

Deb said...

very interesting H post...so glad you posted today...

Von said...

Yes I remember it well, the mud that is from my Bristol days.Interesting post and it came up as "Hovercraft, the little town I live in..." Great solution to an old problem.

Christine H. said...

Great post. I never think of hovercraft as being rescue boats. I wish there had been one in time to save that little girl.

Stan Ski said...

I took a hovercaft ride once - great feeling to go so fast over water.

Mara said...

What a great way to use a hovercraft. And it's nice to hear there need not be any more 'Lelainas'.
Great H!

Gill - That British Woman said...

I haven't seen a hovercraft in years......

Gill in Canada

Tumblewords: said...

Invaluable hovercraft. Wonderful use.

photowannabe said...

Very interesting. The Hovercraft looks like it would be perfect for the mud and quicksand. Its wonderful that the area finally has such a rescue craft.

Jama said...

What a wonderful idea to use it for rescue mission!

Cezar and Léia said...

Hello sweet Anne,
Great and informative post, I liked a lot your idea for this H theme, and your pictures are always perfect!
hugs
purrs and love
Luna - We love Luna, and mommy Léia

Roger Owen Green said...

Why does the picture remind me of a toy boat? I think it's the color.

Grace and Bradley said...

What a tragedy of loosing the little girl! Hope it will never happen again with the hovercraft around now!

Jay said...

Oh, poor little girl! I'm so glad you now have a hovercraft for such rescues, and also that they named it for her. Hopefully, no-one else will have to die if they get stuck.

Sheila said...

A tragic story and it's such a shame that it came to that before anything was done in earnest. Obviously the RNLI doesn't cover the area, surprisingly to me.

Denise said...

An extremely interesting post Anne. How sad about the little girl but I am glad that these kind of terrible tragedies will be prevented now. Denise x

Carolyn Ford said...

I saw a hovercraft several months ago. It was very exciting! Boy do they make noise and move the sand around! Great shots!

Hildred and Charles said...

How sad that it so often takes a tragedy to begin the remedies for them - but thankfully they are there for the future. Very interesting post.

Manang Kim said...

My first time to see this kind of rescue craft it is so cool!

H for Hairdo

belladana said...

A very nice post! The machine reminds me of similar ones used in the movie Star Wars!

Sh@KiR@ CK said...

Wow, I have been in one doing rescue work.
Lovely.

Happy Thursday!

hugs

shakira

HOPE FOR GREAT LAKES NOW!

THEME THURSDAY-HATS

Beverley Baird said...

I have only seen these in pictures - what a fascinating post!
Thanks for sharing!

ChrisJ said...

What a horrifying event, but thank goodness it gave rise to the hovercraft.

cheshire wife said...

Pleased to read that the hovercraft is rarely used.

Aunt Amelia's Attic said...

Hello from across the Pond. :-)

I just noticed your Blogging Name, on a comment in 'Lady Bug From Texas' blog. Strawberry Jam Anne! It is such a cute name, that I had to come say so.

Gentle hugs for the weekend...

Kitty said...

I had no idea there was such a thing as a rescue hovercraft. How interesting. :)