09:01AM, Friday 01 March 2013
A dedicated search and rescue charity is appealing for sponsorship from businesses and the public to launch its new £35,000 flood rescue service.
The Berkshire Lowland Search & Rescue, which helps the police and fire and rescue services search for vulnerable people when they go missing, identified the need for a specialist flood unit in 2011.
There have been several flooding episodes in recent years with 11 properties flooded in Maidenhead in 2000 and 36 homes breached by floods in Marlow, Hurley and Bisham in 2003. There was also extensive flooding of properties in Eton and Datchet in 1947.
The unit would specifically help low-lying communities following flooding.
The region already has a fire services water rescue unit based at Caversham Road in Reading.
The funding would pay for training of volunteers and equipment such as dry suits, floatation devices, rescue sleds, rope rescue kits and a trailer or van to transport the kit.
Chairman Kris Manning said "As we've all seen on the news, widespread flooding is becoming a huge issue.
"The ability of the emergency services to be in so many places at once is a challenge and is something that we can help with."
Mr Manning added that businesses could sponsor specialist pieces of kit which would carry the firm's logo.
The search and rescue team is made up of volunteers who give up their time to assist the emergency services.
In November the charity was called to help police search for a 70-year-old man who went missing following heavy rainfall and floods in the Sonning area.
Anyone who wishes to make a donation can do so online at localgiving.com/charity/berkshiresearchandrescue or by texting BLSAR11 and the amount they want to give to 70070.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
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