Gavin Parson writes: Last night a rescue helicopter plucked a person from a dinghy stuck on the mud outside Gillingham Marina. Mark Colyer who keeps his hovercraft at the marina witnessed this complete waste of money and resources and subsequently went out in his hovercraft to recover the dinghy. The whole rescue could have been done in minutes and for £2 in fuel with the hovercraft rather than the thousands it no doubt cost for the helicopter. Perhaps there is now a validation for a volunteer rescue hovercraft service on the Medway.
Former MSBA Secretary, Gavin Parson, was trying out his new hovercraft when he heard a Mayday call on his VHF radio from a yachtsman who was taken ill. Gavin said, “the coastguard on channel 16 showed complete lack of local knowledge and was badgering the guy, who was clearly suffering, for a Lat and Long when he’d already given a clear description of his location. Also, the ambulance operator didn’t know where the Strand was and asked for postcode.” As you can see in the video, Gavin took the gentleman on board his hovercraft and quickly delivered him to the waiting ambulance in a way that would not have been possible with any other craft.
As it’s April 1st, here’s something to amuse our sailing club members. Actually there are some serious points being made. Can you spot them?
Will your club exist in ten years’ time? Our 2019 conference will focus on the future of our local clubs, which still form the core of active boating on the Medway and Swale. A major report has highlighted a decline in participation in most but not all watersports. Sailing in particular is in free fall. So what exactly is going wrong and what are we going to do about it? Key speakers Liz Rushall and Dave Selby will present different views on how our clubs can adapt to a changing world. Other speakers will present how local clubs are successfully dealing with ageing membership and new styles of boating. Get your earlybird ticket here…
Following a successful trial run this summer, and subject to approval from the authorities, Dave Wilcock of Sheerness plans to launch a ferry service from Sheppey to Southend next May. He has put down a deposit in a 197 seat vessel currently berthed in Cardiff. Already with an eye to the future, he has also applied for a grant for a £1.5m hovercraft.
This 2013 BHC Marlin II ‘Extreme’ was stolen over the weekend of 17 June from Broadstairs in Kent. It’s very distinctive in being one of only three in this colour scheme – black hull and red trim. It’s fitted with an upgraded ‘Rampage’ engine and was taken on its trailer, so could very well be launched on the Medway or Swale.
UPDATE: The stolen hovercraft was found by police in a Ramsgate yard, severely damaged by attempts to disguise it. Read more…