Shoreham Coastguard charity stunt will fund beach wheelchair for disabled children

The Shoreham Coastguard’s volunteer team will walk from Brighton Pier to Worthing Pier this Sunday carrying a rescue stretcher complete with a life-size dummy.

Wednesday, 24th April 2019, 5:06 pm
Updated Wednesday, 24th April 2019, 5:08 pm
Some of the Shoreham Coastguard team

The stunt is to raise funds to purchase a specialised beach wheelchair so that children with learning disabilities at Herons Dale Primary School in Hawkins Crescent, Shoreham, can better enjoy the seafront.

Carl Ladkin, Coastguard Rescue Officer, said the idea for the fundraiser came after some volunteers from the team visited the school and found out that staff were looking to buy the equipment.

He said: “The kids are lovely up there.

“It’s one of those things that pulls on your heartstrings.”

The team hatched their plan for the sponsored challenge and have already raised almost £3,000 towards buying the wheelchair, which has thick, oversized wheels capable of being used on a shingle beach.

“We’ve had a really good response and some substantial donations. We’re really pleased,” he said.

Ten volunteers will set off from Brighton at 8am, taking it in turns to carry the stretcher in teams of four following the coastline as closely as possible.

They expect the journey to take around four hours.

Mr Ladkin said he was hoping for mild weather.

“If it’s as extreme as it was this weekend then it will be a challenge,” he said.

The Shoreham Coastguard look after the coastline between Ferring and Brighton Marina.

Mr Ladkin said they were one of the busiest teams in the South East, responding to a total of 179 call outs last year.

The team, whose base is tucked away in a business park by Humphrey’s Gap in Shoreham, carry out land searches and rescues as well as water rescues, and work closely with the RNLI lifeboat crews.