New MIRO rescue boat launched by Lord-Lieutenant at Findhorn Bay

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MIRO boat launched
MIRO boat launched

Moray Inshore Rescue Organisation (MIRO) had good reason to celebrate this weekend as a new boat was officially launched to keep up with demand on the rescue organisation.

MIRO was called out 15 times between March and December 2018 and has so far been called out 13 times between April and September 2019, and the new vessel is bigger, faster and quieter than the two before it.

The Glyn Whitehead III was officially launched by Lieutenant Colonel Grenville Johnston, the Lord Lieutenant of Moray, at Findhorn Marina at noon on Sunday 3 November (2019).

The naming of the latest MIRO rescue boat follows the tradition of naming the vessels after Glyn Whitehead, a Findhorn sailor who tragically lost his life at sea in 2003.

The new Humber Ocean Pro was launched at a ceremony attended by around 60 people led by John Low, Chairman of MIRO, and guests heard from Simon Paterson, Senior Coxswain, before the boat was formally named by the Lord Lieutenant, and launched into Findhorn bay.

Following the naming ceremony, MIRO volunteers and guests, including funders and representatives of HM Coastguard and RNLI, were served refreshments kindly sponsored by an anonymous donor.

Search and rescue service

MIRO chairman, John Low, said: “We have been aware for some time that the current MIRO rescue boat would need replacing in order to maintain our vital 24hr, 365-day search and rescue service and we have worked hard to raise funds to enable us to purchase and launch our new vessel.

“I would like to thank our many supporters for their generous donations and the Department for Transport for awarding us funds from the Inshore and Inland Rescue Boat Grant Fund.

“Our new boat is bigger than the Glyn Whitehead II which it replaces and will allow us to increase our crew to four members, which in turn will enhance the service we can provide.

“I would like to stress how proud we are of our MIRO crew and shore support volunteers who give up their time to train and attend incidents day and night throughout the year. I would also like to thank our partners from HM Coastguard and RNLI, not only for joining us to celebrate the launch of our new rescue boat but for working with us to rescue people and animals in difficulty and for helping us to save lives.”

Simon Paterson, MIRO Senior Coxswain, said: “This new MIRO rescue boat is incredible – it is ‘super equipped’! The new engines are more powerful, but much quieter than the engines fitted to Glyn Whitehead II, consequently our response time will be much quicker.

“Our first MIRO boat had 1 seat and now we have 4, so we are also getting bigger as well as quicker! The new radar equipment will enhance our ability to operate in the dark and in poor visibility. The new communications system fitted in our helmets means that the crew can talk to each other.

“The new dry docking system keeps the boat out of the water when not in use and will ultimately extend the life of the vessel. Our crew will be fully trained in the new systems and, with the capabilities of this new boat, MIRO will be able to provide a significantly enhanced service.”

Fundraising

As he launched the Glyn Whitehead III, Lieutenant Colonel Grenville Johnston, said “ I first started sailing in Findhorn at age 10. I learned about the bay and it’s dangers and soon realised that rescue is an important part of day-to-day life.

“I have watched MIRO develop over the years and have been aware of the efforts that have gone into fundraising. I am honoured to be invited to name this new boat. I wish MIRO all the best for the future. I wish you success with rescues and hope they are all successful.”