Holy Island coastguards issued with mountain bikes

Coastguards on Holy Island will soon be arriving at jobs on a different form of transport - bespoke mountain bikes

Coastguards on Holy Island with their new mountain bikes
Coastguards on Holy Island with their new mountain bikes

Their trusty 4x4 is a reassuring sight at the all-too-frequent incidents of motorists getting caught out on the island’s causeway.

But soon, Holy Island coastguards will be arriving at jobs by bike.

The community’s coastguard team has become one of the first in the country to be issued with mountain bikes.

The bikes will allow its members to reach those sites on the island which are not accessible by vehicle quicker than they would on foot, meaning any casualties can be reached faster.

Station manager Ryan Douglas said: “The bikes will offer us improved response times when searching for a casualty in areas that would usually have to be searched on foot and will also offer us increased mobility in a variety of operations.

“Large areas of Holy Island are inaccessible with our 4x4 vehicle. This includes areas to the north side of the island, the west side of the island and out on the farm tracks. Currently all our incident working and training at these locations has to be done on foot.

“Bikes will speed up the process of getting immediate attention to casualties. Our colleagues in the police, fire and ambulance services in the cities have been using bikes for a number of years now and have seen great results with improved response times.”

The bikes are a bespoke design for HM Coastguard use. They are equipped with a rear rack and pannier to carry life-saving equipment such as throw lines, lifejackets, first aid kits, maps and torches.

The island team is currently undergoing training in use of the mountain bikes.

Topics will include hazards - both visual and surface, slow speed handling, traffic law, bike maintenance, and patrol procedure.

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