East Anglian Galvanizing has joined forces with another Cambridgeshire firm to help create a new Hovercraft Rescue Station in Southend-on-Sea.
The Sawtry-based plant has teamed up with SDM Fabrication Ltd to galvanize over 26 tonnes of steel used to build a new RNLI Hovercraft Station comprising a two-storey frame topped out with a curved roof.
Once completed, the station will house the RNLI’s dedicated hovercraft, which is used to rescue people stranded in the mudflats of Southend-on-Sea that can stretch up to a whole mile at low tide. With top speeds of 30 miles per hour, the hovercraft can cut rescue times down to eight minutes compared with 20 minutes for a standard lifeboat.
Selwyn Parrish, Commercial Manager of East Anglian Galvanizing said: “I’m delighted with the progress on this project, as we are always keen to support the incredible work done by our emergency and rescue services. Once it’s up and running, the hot-dip galvanized Hovercraft Station will help the brave men and women of the RNLI save lives for generations to come.”
Richard Melton, Managing Director of March-based SDM Fabrication Ltd, said: “East Anglian Galvanizing is a long-standing partner of ours, and as always, we’ve seen a quick turnaround and a high level of professionalism on this project. They were tasked with galvanizing the structure to withstand the harsh salt water conditions on the coast, and their technical and logistical resources were invaluable on this project.”
The new station adds to the 233 lifeboat stations across in the UK, and will help ease the pressure on the Southend-on-Sea RNLI, one of the busiest rescue stations in the country, which scrambles for 100 rescue missions each year, on average. Since 1879 the lifeboat crews of Southend-on-Sea have saved over 2,000 lives.