Gosport Lifeboat Station
|Gosport and Fareham Inshore Rescue Service|
Gosport and Fareham lifeboat station.
|Location||Stokes Bay, Hampshire|
Brickwork and concrete
|Owner||The Gosport and Fareham Inshore Rescue Service, which is a registered charity|
Gosport Lifeboat Station is a voluntary run, independent lifeboat station located in the village of Alverstoke on the peninsula of Gosport, in the English county of Hampshire. It is owned and operated by Gosport and Fareham Inshore Rescue Service (abbreviated to GAFIRS) and it operates free lifeboat cover in the Solent from Portsmouth Harbour to Titchfield Haven, on the approaching shores of Southampton Water.
GAFIRS is on call with HM Coastguard 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. When lifeboat crews are not on station, they are ready for an immediate launch via pager callout. Additional to the frontline lifeboat service, GAFIRS is also available to the county's other emergency services to respond to inland incidents such as flooding, snow rescue and inland water rescues.
2009 marked the charity's 40th anniversary.
There are 235 RNLI-owned lifeboat stations around the United Kingdom, and there are 65 lifeboat stations which are not owned or managed by the RNLI, including GAFIRS. GAFIRS is available to the coastguard in the same way as the RNLI to provide lifesaving lifeboats and lifeboat crews 24 hours a day, all year round.
In 2010, GAFIRS joined an awareness campaign in unison with most independent lifeboat stations in the United Kingdom to illustrate and remove the common misconception of the public that there is only one charity "Saving Lives at Sea." One of the important aims of the campaign "Go Orange for Indie Lifeboat" is to educate members of the public that their donation to the RNLI may not actually be going towards their local lifeboat station if it is independent, such as GAFIRS or Ryde Inshore Rescue.
Previously known as "Gosport Rescue 1", GAFIRS' frontline boat is a fully self-righting 7.4-metre Avon rigid-hulled inflatable boat. It is powered by a 300-hp Iveco diesel turbo engine driving a Castoldi water jet. The craft's speed is over 35 knots, and it can reach any part of its patrol area within 10 minutes of launch. Equipment carried includes sophisticated navigation equipment including radar, chart plotting, GPS (including AIS to allow tracking from the station) and an echo sounder, advanced first aid equipment, search and flood lighting, flares, two fixed VHF radios, DSC Compatible, and one VHF handportable.
Gosport Inshore Lifeboat (Gosport ILB)
The inshore lifeboat at this station is an Avon WB450 rigid infladable boat which is 4.5 metres (15 ft) in length. It has a 60 horsepower outboard engine. The lifeboat also has its own dedicated trailer for movement by road so this lifeboat can if necessary attend inland incidents such as major flooding. The craft's equipment includes GPS which includes AIS to allow tracking from her home station, Flares and para illumination flares, towing lines and equipment, first aid supplies and damage control equipment. The lifeboat has VHF radio and is DSC-compatible.
Gosport Rescue Mobile
Gosport Rescue Mobile is GAFIRS' long-wheelbase landrover, which acts as an incident support vehicle both for inland incidents and shoreside assistant for the organisation's rescue craft. Gosport Rescue Mobile carries first aid, oxygen, paramedic equipment and rescue stretchers. Additionally it carries light rescue tools and scene lighting equipment for protracted incidents. The vehicle is also fitted with emergency blue lights and sirens which can be used by trained and licensed personnel (who are all part of the emergency services as a profession.)
Cadets and Canoe Lifeguard Section
The organisation has a Cadet Section for youths between the ages of 14 and 18. The aim of the section is to teach the youngsters lifesaving skills both in canoes and on the beach, as well as lifeguard skills. The service uses canoes for routine patrols and rescue work along the coastline of the area and additionally in support of the mud rescue teams. The canoes are normally paddled by the cadet section.
The canoes used are the 'Shark' rescue canoe, Selki rescue canoe and Plastic Sea Boats. The Shark was designed originally by the service to withstand the rigours of life as a rescue craft. The service has 14 rescue canoes and two paddle boards.
The service attended 1,698 incidents from 1996 to 2011.
- OS Explorer Map – 119 - Meon Valley, Porstmouth, Gosport and Fareham, Showing part of the South Downs Way (Folded Map). Published: Ordnance Survey; A2 edition (15 Feb 2010). ISBN 978 03192 412 40
- "Yachtswoman Dee Caffari becomes patron of Gosport and Fareham’s independent lifeboat service". Portsmouth News. 20 October 2011. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
- "Gosport Rescue 1 Specifications". Retrieved 11 May 2014.
- "Cadet and Canoe Section". Retrieved 11 May 2014.
- Gosport and Fareham Inshore Rescue Website
- GAFIRS 40th Year of Service Annual Report 2009
- OnScene Magazine / Issue 1 / Summer 2013