Latest News from WightSAR

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December 2021 News …………

WightSAR have had a busy summer and autumn period. Alongside multiple call outs supporting Hampshire Constabulary, team members have been busy with much needed fundraising events. It has been delightful meeting & talking to members of the public again at some of our supermarket collection days.  We were also delighted to support The Isle of Wight County Fair at the Royal IOW Agricultural Society County Show Ground in August and join in with the Freshwater Independent Lifeboat Fun Day the same month. Our fundraising events generate vital funds that allow us to stay operational 24/7 , 365 days a year.

 

We previously launched our replacement Incident Control Vehicle appeal, and we are delighted to announce we are now in a position to search for a “new to us” suitable vehicle to replace our ageing & increasingly unreliable current vehicle.  Further announcements will soon be forthcoming on how this is possible but we are extremely grateful for some unexpectedly successful funding steams.  Watch our Facebook page for more details.  

 

It feels fitting that we are making such a significant purchase at a time that WightSAR are celebrating their 10thAnniversary of being an independent, stand alone Lowland Rescue Team.  WightSAR was born out of a few members forming an “Initial Response Team” as part of Hampshire Search & Rescue but achieved full Lowland Rescue status in 2011 led by our Founder & current Chairperson, Dean Terrett.  

 

This gave the Isle of Wight its own professional, volunteer Search & Rescue Team and we have been searching for missing & vulnerable high risk missing people ever since. We continue to have close links with Hampshire Search & Rescue (HantSAR) and remain grateful for their ongoing support. 

 

WightSAR volunteers were also delighted & proud to be recognised at the Isle of Wight District Commander’s Awards, hosted by Superintendent Sarah Jackson at the Riverside Centre in Newport on the evening of Tuesday 16 November. See our photo Gallery.

 

Supt Jackson hosted a number of special guests at the event, including Chief Constable Olivia Pinkney, Her Majesty’s Vice Lord Lieutenant Maurice Sheen, Isle of Wight High Sheriff James Attrill, and Victoria White and Darren Claydon from Isle of Wight Ambulance Service.

 

Attendees heard of the bravery and dedication of not only police and partners, but of courageous members of the public who acted selflessly to protect others in their time of need.

 

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In February this year, officers were supported by volunteers from Isle of Wight Search & Rescue (WightSAR) in the search for a vulnerable missing woman.

The volunteers were tasked to search a wooded area in cold, wet and pitch black conditions.

 

Police officers were then made aware of an earlier sighting during the afternoon. This changed the search area and once again WightSAR deployed to the new area to assist with the search. During this time, the volunteer members of the team located the woman, administered first aid and extracted her from the area in which she was found.

 

Their life-saving efforts are to be commended. It is to be noted that WightSAR volunteers work completely in their own time with no monitory reward, and provide invaluable support, knowledge and commitment to the Constabulary.

 

Chairman of WightSAR Dean Terrett, and search volunteer Julian Adams – who located the missing person – collected a certificate on behalf of WightSAR for their tremendous dedication and professionalism.

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As Christmas rapidly approaches, please try and visit our WightSAR SAR themed decorated Christmas Tree at IOW Pearl from 1st December to 3rd January 2022.  We would love to hear your thoughts on our tree by posting pictures and comments on social media, tagging Isle of Wight Search & Rescue into your post.  All donations received at the festival will go towards our operational costs. 

 

As ever the team will remain on call and ready for deployment 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week throughout the Christmas & New Year period. 

 

We wish you a safe and happy Christmas from the whole WightSAR team. 

July 2021 News …………

 

The operational team are enjoying being back at practical training while still taking all the COVID-19 precautions required. The team have been focusing on the knowledge and skills required for  injured casualty evacuation as well as gaining practice with our new evacuation stretchers and accessories. This training was put to very good use during a recent successful search.

 

WightSAR held its very delayed AGM and a new, much expanded Committee was voted in that includes members who bring some incredible knowledge and skills to the team.  Together with our recent 12 newly trained Search Technicians, it feels very much like the start of a new phase in WightSAR’s development and expansion, and we look forward to seeing & sharing with you how this develops.

 

Some of our volunteers undertook Vaccination Training (Theory & Practice) to help deliver COVID-19 Vaccinations at the Riverside Vaccination Centre on behalf of Solent NHS Trust. It was a pleasure to be involved in such a vital community initiative and big thanks to the WightSAR Volunteers for stepping up to this task and to the Riverside Team who made us feel so welcome. 

 

Recent Good News is that Wightlink have offered to support WightSAR training by providing travel assistance to trainees requiring to attend mainland training as well as external trainers delivering training here on the Island.  This support will greatly benefit both new and existing members and we thank Wightlink for their very generous support with this. 

 

On the Fundraising news, we continue to try and raise the 35k required to purchase and build a replacement Incident Control Vehicle. We have applied for various national grants and are awaiting the grant outcomes with everything crossed. 

We are still asking for any donations towards the van appeal , no matter how small,  via our LocalGiving account below:

https://localgiving.org/Wightsar-new-incident-control-vehicle

If anybody wishes to hold any fundraising activity on our behalf towards the new van , please contact us on fundraising@wightsar.org

Otherwise visit our Fundraising Section of this website for other ways you can help raise vital funds for WightSAR.

 

Various fundraising activities are starting again, and you can find us during August at the following venues / dates. 

 

Do pop in & say “Hello” to the team and ask any questions you may have. 

 

7th August (09:00 to 16:00) at Morrisons Lake 

 

14th August at the Freshwater Independent Lifeboat Fun Day (Always a pleasure to “work” with our other emergency services partners

 

28th August (09:00 to 16:00) at Tesco Extra Ryde

May 2021 News ……......

 

The Good News: After a tiring, intense but enjoyable weekend of training & assessment our 12 trainees qualified as Search Technicians and joined the “live” Call Out List. It was not long before they had their first “shout”! Great to have increased numbers on the team. Congratulations and welcome to the operational team. 

 

Lot of  folks to thank for supporting the training weekend , the first time Search Technician Training has ever been delivered on the Island.

Special thanks to PGL for hosting the training, accommodating the external trainers and providing excellent meals throughout the weekend. Thanks to Jan (Community Champion) at Tesco Extra for fruit & snacks plus Carrie (Community Champion) at Morrisons Lake for bottles of water and chocolate bars. Our big thanks to the UKLSI Trainers for coming over from the North Isle and delivering the training. We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. We have uploaded some photos on our Gallery.

The Bad News: Our Incident Control Vehicle is back at Stag Lane Motors having major repairs, having broken down on the way back from a successful search in Ryde. Luckily, we have the fully search equipped 4 x 4 to see us through until the van is back on the road. 

Having given us many years of good service the time has finally come to start fundraising for a replacement. This is a massive task for a small charity such as ours as we seek to raise the 35k required. This amount includes the purchase of a “new to us” long based vehicle plus the rebuild to make it into a mobile office, equipment store and radio communication hub.  That includes fitting our 12.5 metre  retractable radio mast into the vehicle, which is a specialist fit. We will be applying for various grants with fingers crossed,  holding fundraising events as well as well as seeking donations from our generous supporters across the Island. If you are able to donate, even the smallest amount you can use the Local Giving Link below. Don’t forget to tick the Gift Aid option to give us the extra 25p in every £1 donated without any cost to yourself.

https://localgiving.org/Wightsar-new-incident-control-vehicle

 

We will keep you updated on the new Van Appeal through our Facebook page and here on the website. But if you have any fundraising ideas or offers, please e mail fundraising@wightsar.org