Moray Inshore Rescue Organisation awarded £500 by Tesco Bags of Help community grant scheme
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LIFESAVING volunteers from Findhorn have been granted £500 to help cover costs during the coronavirus pandemic.
Moray Inshore Rescue Organisation (MIRO) received the support from the Tesco Bags of Help community grant scheme, set up to help vulnerable groups as part of an emergency response for local communities.
MIRO operations manager, Peter Mackenzie, explained that the easing of lockdown restrictions, combined with good weather and uncertainty around holidaying abroad, has brought unprecedented numbers of visitors to Moray's beaches.
He said: "Unfortunately, a number of people and animals have got into difficulties and our volunteers were called to assist with 18 emergency situations between May 30 and August 12 - an increase in call outs of almost 100 per cent over the same period last year. "We responded to a variety of incidents, from swimmers and a fishing boat in difficulty to people and horses cut off on sandbanks, canoes adrift and an injured person on the beach."
In 2019 MIRO were awarded £4000 award from the Bags of Help scheme which they used to buy 10 drysuits as part of a programme to upgrade and renew essential crew lifesaving equipment.
MIRO Chairman, John Low, said: "We need fuel and essential personal protective equipment such as face masks, hand gel and gloves to protect our crew, shore support volunteers and the people we rescue.
"This latest support from Tesco has meant that we do not need to worry about how to fund our escalating fuel bills, which have increased significantly to over £610 in June and July compared with £71 in May."
Tesco communications manager for Scotland, Tony McElroy, added: "We’re doing everything we can to support local communities and hopefully the Bags of Help Covid-19 grants will help those groups such MIRO who provide vital services and are still committed to helping others during this uncertain time."
For more information, visit www.morayinshorerescue.org