Engineers at MG Birmingham have come to the rescue of a rescue hovercraft!
After 10 years of faithful service and many life-saving rescues, the engine in Burnham-on-Sea’s Spirit of Lelaina search and rescue hovercraft was beginning to feel the strain.
Luckily the Somerset resort is a favourite holiday spot of Neil Butler, a Chief Engineer based at the SAIC Technical Centre at MG Birmingham. SAIC is the parent company of MG Motor UK.
Hovercrafts are used instead of boats by the rescue team because of the treacherous mud and sands along this part of the coast, which sadly claimed the life of a little girl in 2002.
Neil said: “I happened to be on the beach one day and saw that the hovercraft’s engine was really struggling. I knew that one of our new engines from MG TFs built in Birmingham would not just fit in the craft but do a much better job.”
A new MG 135hp engine has been donated which will give the hovercraft a 40 knot capability and cut down the time it takes to get to people in peril.
Neil put in many hours of his own time to work on the engine to adapt it to salt water conditions.
Mark Newman, Chairman of Burnham-on-Sea’s hovercraft rescue charity, BARB, said: “The new MG engine will be crucial to our work in saving lives and we are extremely grateful to Neil and everyone at MG and the Technical Centre who have been so generous and helpful.”
The new MG engine will be presented to the charity by Neil and Richard Moore, Executive Director of SAIC UK Technical Centre, on August 15 during BARB’s annual Rescue Sunday when more than 3,000 people will pack the beach to watch rescue demonstrations.
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