On Monday 30th September South Wales Fire and Rescue Service (SWFRS), in partnership with Cardiff Harbour Authority, will launch their new rescue boat based at the Cardiff Bay Barrage. Cardiff Bay has been chosen as the location for the rescue boat as the area has the largest water risk in the SWFRS region.
The rescue boat will also improve safety of the crews operating on the banks of the Bay and the rivers Taff and Ely as it will have firefighting capability to deal with fires on smaller vessels, or locations on the banks that are difficult to get to from shoreline.
SWFRS has always attended incidents in the Bay area, but has previously had to mobilise rescue boats from Malpas and Barry Fire Stations. Now that there is a rescue boat in the Bay, crewed by Firefighters from Penarth Fire Station, this will reduce the deployment time by 15 minutes which is invaluable when it comes to saving lives.
Andy Thomas Assistant Chief Fire Officer, South Wales Fire and Rescue Service said “We are proud to be collaborating with Cardiff Harbour Authority and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) to enhance firefighting and rescue capability in Cardiff Bay and the Rivers Taff and Ely”.
“The crews are trained to operate in fast flowing water as rescue swimmers, and through collaboration with the RNLI we have extremely well trained rescue boat operators”.
“The crews in Penarth Fire Station are also very pleased to be operating as a Water Rescue team and enjoy this new added dimension to their capability.”
Cabinet Member for Sport, Leisure and Culture, Cllr Ramesh Patel, said: “I am delighted that the Council and the team at the Cardiff Harbour Authority have been able to support the project by allowing the Fire Service to use council land. Anything that can help save lives has to be applauded and I am delighted that the new rescue boat will be in position at the Barrage. Cardiff Bay is a very busy waterway so this will be a valuable new addition. I wish the South Wales Fire and Rescue Service good luck with this new initiative.”