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2018 July August Marina World

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PRODUCTS, SERVICES & PEOPLE A Fire and Rescue team perform demonstrations of the Portsafe Reach and Rescue pole in Bedfordshire, UK. The product, stored in a lockable box, is now available for members of the public to use in emergencies. Pilot project for water rescue device A new water rescue device could save more lives on Britain’s riverbanks after being chosen for a special pilot project by the fire service. The Portsafe rescue system will take a prominent position along the banks of the River Great Ouse in Bedfordshire as part of a groundbreaking water safety trial. The pole-based system can reach someone in distress in the water in as little as 20 seconds and is so easy to use that members of the public will be able to begin the rescue while the emergency services are on the way. The Portsafe Reach and Rescue pole, already used by 70% of the UK’s fire services, extends to 17m (56ft) and comes with a range of attachments for a host of rescue scenarios. It is contained in a lockable box and stands at the water’s edge similar to the traditional lifebuoy. But, unlike the lifebuoy, it is secure and tamper-proof. Jo Taylor from Reach and Rescue explains: “We work with many different rescue organisations and our poles are already widely used in lifeboats, marinas and ports around the world. Until now they have only been used by rescue workers but they are so easy to use and effective that they could be accessed by the public, just like a lifebuoy. However, by talking to fire and rescue workers we have found that there is a real problem with lifebuoys being stolen or vandalised. So we have created something much more secure.” The lockable box will carry a number for members of the public to call to allow access to the Reach and Rescue pole. The same call could also be used to raise the alarm to the emergency services. “In a rescue situation every second is vital,” Taylor said. “The real beauty of the system’s rigid design is that you can direct and control the rescue rather than expecting someone who is in the water, cold, confused and terrified to swim towards a ring.” The Reach and Rescue has a host of different applications including animal rescue and safety when working in high places. It also has a camera attachment to allow it to be used in search operations in hard to reach places or underwater. Developed seven years ago, the product has been continuously refined and improved. It is now used in 33 countries by a variety of rescue agencies and has been proven to save lives. Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service will be the first brigade in the UK to use the Portsafe system on the banks of the Ouse close to Kempston Fire Station. Safety Officer, David Lynch, said: “Our key message is that people should not put themselves in danger by entering the water to attempt a rescue. The Reach and Rescue poles will allow people who see someone in trouble in the water to help them while keeping safe themselves. To get the pole they’ll need to call the Fire Service on 999 for a code to unlock it, which means we’ll also be on our way to assist. We are continually looking for ways to keep people safe by the water and the Reach and Rescue pole will be a welcome piece of life saving equipment to have alongside Bedfordshire’s open water.” E: info@reachandrescue.com Brett Bolton After 15 years in the industry, most recently as CEO of d’Albora Marinas, Brett Bolton has reestablished his consultancy business Coriolis Marine. Bolton, who has directly managed 13 marinas in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria (Australia) and in New Zealand, has acquired a wealth of experience in business operations, risk management, head lease negotiations, project approvals and management, design and master planning, mergers and acquisitions, and due diligence. “As government approval red tape and operating compliance requirements continue to increase for the industry, I can help businesses navigate their way through the processes, minimising delays, costs and risk exposure,” he says. www.marinaworld.com - July/August 2018 53

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