Friday, 30 August 2013

Bank Holiday...



 By Adrian Vernon, Head of Ranger Services

Last week Yare team rangers working at Whitlingham Country Park reported they had "survived" the teddies bear’s picnic which was attended by 300 children. The children, with their parents, bring their teddies and a picnic and take part in a treasure hunt plus badge and dragonfly making. There were a number of big events across the Broads in a weekend that ended up being sunny and warm.
Barton Regatta was held over the bank holiday weekend and was very well attended. Other events included the Reedham Duck Race which again, was very well attended with a very large crowd on the quay.
Sunday evening (25th August) on the River Waveney saw some alleged anti-social behaviour and dangerous helming of a speedboat, which unfortunately ended in the vessel turning over. Police and Coastguard attended and luckily for those on board, there were no reported injuries. Rangers have now taken statements and will be interviewing the alleged offenders in the near future.
Bank holiday afternoon was busy with the powerboat racing on Oulton Broad, followed by a firework display. The rangers on duty were supplemented by Broads Beat officers. Apparently a large fight took place on land but all was quiet on the water.
Rangers have also been involved in investigating a number of additional cases, from failing to stop incidents to skiing and speeding offences. Investigation of these cases involves taking statements and interviewing suspects, and at the moment there is an unusually high number of case files being compiled.
Thursday was late night training for the new Broads rangers, who have now completed their course. Other staff who perform standby duties also attended the session, and a rigorous day of incident/towing training was implemented followed by night navigation using the gps, chart plotter and radar plus good old fashioned compass and spotlight. Training was suspended when a small inflatable plastic boat with two young people on board was seen by Bure Mouth.

Words of advice were going to be given but it was quickly established that they were in trouble and were hanging onto an old wooden dolphin surrounded by old wooden stakes. They were quickly recovered onto the Spirit of Breydon launch and landed safely. They had purchased the plastic boat that day, and were totally unaware of the dangers of launching from the area in front of a supermarket car park at Gt Yarmouth. They were not wearing lifejackets and so the incident could have ended very badly.

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