Ashtead Technology, a subsea equipment solutions specialist, has donated nearly £20,000 of specialist kit to SARbot, the UK’s only underwater search, rescue and recovery charity.
Ashtead Technology, which is headquartered in Aberdeen and delivers state-of-the-art subsea products and support across the globe, has donated a CDL minivision long-rage, full-colour video telemetry system; a Bowtech near SIT aluminium camera, designed for use in low light level conditions, and a powerful underwater lamp.
SARbot’s small volunteer rescue team operates across the UK, searching for missing people on any inland waterway or out at sea, using sophisticated sonar that has been specially developed to identify human forms under water and quickly locate victims.
Allan Pirie, CEO of Ashtead Technology, said: “SARbot is an exceptional charity, offering vital 90-minute rescue to those in peril in waters across the UK but also peace-of-mind and closure to families of missing persons. We are delighted to be able to support it and hope that our donation will allow the charity to continue its crucial work.”
Christian Cooper, director and trustee of SARbot, said: “The equipment from Ashtead Technology will make a huge difference to the way we view and review live footage from a search.
“The camera will be a valuable tool for searching confined spaces such as wells. There have been occasions this year when the emergency services have struggled to search a well used to discard the remains of murder suspects. We can use the camera to locate people before deploying an ROV for rescue or recovery.”
SARbot’s response team searches using powerful sonar, lights, cameras and a specifically designed robot with a grab arm that can cut through wire and attach to a body allowing recovery to the surface without the need for a diver.
The charity also has two trained water search dogs, Max and Vitton, who are capable of identifying human scent on water.
More than 700 drownings occur in the UK each year, but medical evidence shows that people can survive near drowning in water below 21c without permanent damage if they are recovered from the water in less than 90 minutes.
SARbot’s aim is to have at least one fully trained team in every county or region of the UK, which can work alongside the emergency services.
Mr. Cooper added: “We are a unique charity that offers a wide range of underwater search, rescue and recovery solutions. Sadly, we lack the funding we need to move forward and develop. We feel we can work with the subsea industry to do this and the generous donation of equipment from Ashtead Technology takes us another step forward.”