New boat improves Norfolk’s inland water rescue capability

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service's new boat launched

A specialist inland water rescue boat costing �30,000 has been added to Norfolk's arsenal to respond to future flooding in the county.

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service now has four boats after the launch yesterday of the Pioner Multi boat, which will be a key part of a specialist flood and swift water rescue unit for the county.

The new boat will support existing teams and boats based at Great Yarmouth, King's Lynn and Norwich, and will be based at Dereham fire station when Norfolk's Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) team relocates from Wymondham to Dereham in the spring.

It will help to rescue people from rivers and other waterways around Norwich, the Broads and elsewhere in the county.

The new boat and a range of other specialist equipment will be crewed by the USAR team, which is funded by central government.

Norfolk's assistant chief fire officer Roy Harold said: 'The new boat follows a review carried out by Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service into its water rescue capability.

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'The review took into account the increasing risk of flooding and incorporated lessons learned during the East Coast Tidal Surge in November 2007 and the national Pitt Review.

'The new boat will give us more flexibility and extra, specialist capacity in the county.'

He said they were working with a national flood rescue project and with the Norfolk Resilience Forum to help improve the whole country's ability to deal with flooding.

He added: 'We hope shortly to be able to confirm additional inward investment from central government into Norfolk, to benefit local people by further improving our multi-agency emergency response to flooding.'

Harry Humphrey, the county council's cabinet member for fire and rescue, said: 'We have all seen the major flooding events in Cumbria and Herefordshire in the recent past and know the impact such incidents can have.'

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