Published: August 15, 2010
In photos: Crowds flock to Burnham-On-Sea rescue services day



Huge crowds packed Burnham-On-Sea seafront on Sunday (August 15th) when dozens of emergency services from across the West Country gathered to take part in a joint safety awareness day featuring scores of displays and demonstrations.

ESCAPE - the Emergency Services Community Awareness and Promotion Event - included displays by hovercrafts, lifeboats, two helicopters, airplanes and micro-lights.

Over 20 different emergency groups took part, including BARB, the RNLI, HM Coastguard, Avon and Somerset Constabulary, Somerset Fire and Rescue and the ambulance service.

The event began with an official opening performed by Burnham's Mayor Michael Clarke and attended by BARB President Neville Jones, Sedgemoor District Council Vice Chairman Mike Cresswell and MP Tessa Munt.

Other groups taking part included St John Ambulance, Skywatch Microlights, Somerset and Dorset Air Ambulance, Burnham lifeguards, Freewheeler Blood Bikes, Wessex 4 x 4 Response, Mendip Cave Rescue, Avon and Somerset Cliff Rescue, Exmoor Search and Rescue, Marine Life Rescue, The Red Cross, Civil Contingencies, The Environment Agency, National Blood Donor Service, Weston Super Mare Radio Club, WRVS and Secret World Animal Rescue.

Vehicles, crews and supporters from each service were on hand to hand out safety advice. Life-saving demonstrations took place in the sea, in the air and on the beach, giving spectators a unique chance to see their work up-close.

The day's displays included a joint training exercise with the RNLI and a Coastguard helicopter in which crewmembers were winched from the lifeboats into the helicopter.

A spectacular flypast of light aircraft from Skywatch Microlights took place at lunchtime, followed by an RNLI drift exercise, a lifeguard rescue exercise, a fly-past by the Devon and Somerset air ambulance and a joint BARB and Coastguard mud rescue. A tug-of-war at the end of the day was won by Burnham Fire Brigade after a hard-fought win over the RNLI.

During the day, a new motor for BARB's Spirit Of Lelaina hovercraft was also presented by MG - more here.

BARB, the charity that operates Burnham's rescue hovercrafts, has organised the popular event since it started in 2004.
Event organiser Roger Flower told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "This year's event went really well - everyone had a great day and we thank all those who attended and supported all the groups and charities involved."

See 58 photos from this event in our online gallery and online video here

At the opening ceremony Rebekah Fey (7) presented a bouquet of flowers to Mayoress Maria Clarke, watched by Mayor Michael Clarke, Sedgemoor Vice Chairman Mike Cresswell and his wife June, BARB President Neville Jones, MP Tessa Munt and BARB crewmembers Chris Perks and Steve Perks

Caroline Hall, mother of the late Lelaina Hall, was presented with a bouquet of flowers watched by Sedgemoor Chairman Jane Moreton and BARB crew

Burnham RNLI crewmembers held several displays during Sunday's event

Big crowds packed Burnham seafront for the rescue services day

MP Tessa Munt and councillor Joe Leach with the Freewheelers crew

Mayor and Mayoress Michael and Maria Clarke presented a cheque to BARB, received by its youngest crewmember, Chris Perks, following a collection at last week's Civic Service in Burnham

Avon and Somerset's cliff rescue team were among the groups at the event

Burnham fire brigade were victorious in annual rescue services tug-of-war

See 58 photos from this event in our online gallery and online video here


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