Rescuers are back afloat after major donations for summer boat fuel costs

John Cresswell with The Felixstowe Volunteer Coast Patrol Rescue boat at Levington Marina. Picture:

John Cresswell with The Felixstowe Volunteer Coast Patrol Rescue boat at Levington Marina. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

A rescue service which was forced off the sea because it could not afford its running costs will be back on the water for the summer season thanks to a series of generous donations.

John Cresswell is delighted that the FVCPRS will be back afloat this summer after donations towards

John Cresswell is delighted that the FVCPRS will be back afloat this summer after donations towards fuel costs). Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Felixstowe Volunteer Coast Patrol Rescue Service (FVCPRS), which last year saved nine lives, has found itself shorebound because it had no money for fuel needed to patrol and carry out rescues.

Ironically, it has cash in the bank, but it is ring-fenced from funders for equipment and cannot be used for day-to-day expenses.

John Cresswell, operations manager and 1st coxswain, said that since the group’s plight was highlighted a number of donations had been received – providing the help needed for the service to work this summer.

He said: “It is always heartening to receive public donations and those from local organisations and I can confirm that we have received both.


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“Yet again the East of England Co-operative Society has come to our aid with the offer of two months’ free fuel, and in addition a recent charity collection at the Felixstowe store raised the sum of £315.

“A major donation of £6,000 has been made by businessman and philanthropist Kevin Craig, who is founder and chief executive of PLMR, a leading UK-based communications company. Mr Craig has strong family connections with Suffolk and he and his family divide their time between London and Felixstowe.”

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Mr Craig said: “When I heard that coastal patrols for 2018 were to be suspended due to the lack of fuel money I knew I wanted to do something to help – I thought that it was just a terrible situation.

“The FVCPRS volunteers are inspirational, they work so hard to keep our coast and beaches safe.

“The sea is a huge part of our lives and is another reason the work of the FVCPRS is so important to us. I am very pleased to have been able to provide financial support to them at this crucial time.”

Mr Cresswell said: “We are overwhelmed not only by Mr Craig and his family’s enthusiastic financial support, but it is also because of his philanthropic beliefs which, run alongside his motto of ‘mankind is our business’.

“On behalf of trustees, volunteers and the community we would like to express our sincere thanks to all our most valued supporters for ‘keeping the boat afloat’.”

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