‘Vital’ slipway repairs needed at Gosport and Fareham Inshore Rescue Service

A Gafirs boat out on a rescue in The Solent
A Gafirs boat out on a rescue in The Solent
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A SEA rescue service says it is ‘really important’ that its slipway is repaired

Gosport and Fareham Inshore Rescue Service (Gafirs) has asked Gosport Borough Council to put in a planning application to have the public slipway near its station repaired.

The end is in poor condition and means in some conditions the rescue team cannot always get in and out of the water unless the tide is at the right height.

Gafirs chairman Keith Thomas said: ‘Bad weather over the past few years has caused damage to the slipway which makes it difficult sometimes for us to get the boat in the water with the wheels of the cradle getting stuck.

‘So we approached the council to get it repaired and an application has now been put through. It is really important we get it repaired quickly.’

Councillor Peter Edgar, chairman of the Solent Sea Rescue Organisation said the repair work is vital.

‘I’m delighted that the council is considering repairing the slipway,’ he said.

‘It’s absolutely vital that it is done. It could be that they are called out on a life-saving mission and if the vessel cannot launch, then lives could be lost.’

Gafirs is an independent rescue team operating in the Solent off Lifeboat Lane, in Stokes Bay.

It asked the council to look at repairing the slipway, which is owned by the council, about a year ago.

Cllr Edgar added: ‘Gafirs is one of the best units and it is totally unacceptable it has had to wait this long for the application to be put in. But the council has to follow procedures and changes cannot be made to the slipway without formal planning permission.’

People in Gosport have shown their full support for the repairs saying Gafirs provides an essential service to residents in the town and Fareham.

To see the application visit publicaccess.gosport.gov.uk and search for 14/00465/FULL.