Published: July 27, 2007
Photo Special: Burnham-On-Sea Coastguards join flood relief efforts

A team of Burnham-On-Sea Coastguards who have been providing much-needed water supplies to flood-affected communities in Gloucestershire described their 'humbling experience' when they returned to the town late on Thursday evening (July 26th).

Six Coastguards from Burnham have been delivering water to outlying homes throughout Gloucester, Cheltenham and Tewkesbury since torrential rain caused major flooding in the region.

The Burnham team - comprising Station Officer Steve Bird, Dave Welham, Nigel Smith, Craig Groves, Robin Hewlett and Clive Savill - were tasked with delivering thousands of water bottles and have spent 48 hours travelling hundreds of miles around the worst effected areas.

"You can't really imagine how everyone depends on water until you are without it," said Nigel Smith, who was one of the team based in Sharpness for two days.

"One stranded lady in an outlying village was in tears when we arrived on Thursday afternoon - she'd been down to her last two litres and was starting to get desperate. She, like many others, was incredibly relieved to see us."

Burnham Coastguard Station Officer Steve Bird added: "It's been a very humbling experience. The support we've had from residents has been incredible. They've been so grateful for our help."

"Over five million bottles of water have been delivered in the flood-affected area during just two days thanks to the Coastguard and other emergency teams. I real feel that we've helped to make a difference in a very serious situation."

And Craig Groves said: "The Coastguard teams have each been carrying out ten water runs a day to deliver thousands of bottles of water to the most needy, including those in care homes, the elderly and housebound residents. Everyone has been so pleased to see us."

Two of the Burnham Coastguard team - Dave Ilsley and Robin Hewlett - have stayed on in Gloucesterhire to continue helping with the relief work.

Millions of litres of bottled water was piled high, ready for distribution by Coastguard teams from Burnham-On-Sea and across the South West

Pick-up trucks were used to move the huge pallets of water bottles onto the waiting Coastguard trucks

A long line of Coastguard vehicles from across the South West was used in the relief work across Gloucestershire

This Red Cross distribution centre was the hub of the relief efforts, where vital water and other supplies were supplied to Coastguards to take to residents

Burnham-On-Sea's Coastguard truck was driven through the deep flood waters in the centre of Gloucester to deliver water supplies

Large areas of open fields and countryside around Tewkesbury were flooded by the torrential rain, cutting off communities

The Coastguard team noticed dozens of sand bags lining the pavements in Gloucester to keep the flood waters at bay

While the flood water is receding, streets in Gloucester were still flooded by several inches of dirty water on Thursday


Coastguards join flood relief

Burnham-On-Sea Coastguards official website


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