On the 29th January Shipping Minister John Hayes announced the names of charities across the country who will get funding for state of the art rescue equipment from a new £5 million fund.

John Hayes

Shipping Minister John Hayes said:

“As an island nation the safety of our waters is paramount and our water rescue charities work tirelessly around the clock to save lives and protect the public from harm. Therefore I am pleased to announce the winners of this new fund that will support our hard working volunteers in this vital task.”


We are extremely pleased to announce that International Rescue Corps was one of twenty chosen charities to receive funding toward inshore and inland lifeboat provision in the UK.


Willie McMartin, Corps Director said

“It is a great honour to have been awarded this grant as it is enabling us to replace outdated flood rescue gear and buy new equipment. This will enable us to increase our capabilities and continue to support all blue light services and the UK Public during a crisis; ultimately saving lives.”


The Department of Transport’s Inshore and Inland Lifeboat Grant Scheme will provide up to £1 million per annum, this year and over the next 4 years, for projects that provide equipment for lifesaving charities – for more information please visit https://www.gov.uk


This funding will allow us to replace our existing Pioner Boat, add a new inflatable boat and replace associated personal protective equipment for up to twenty voluntary personnel. This includes dry suits, undersuits, helmets, gloves, hoods, throw lines, boots, masks, kit bags, torches and PFDs.  It will also enable us to acquire mud rescue sledges and flood defence bags – both of these items are new to IRC and will increase our water rescue capacity.

Much of this replaces elderly equipment, some is new to IRC and some will enhance personnel safety.

Over the last 34 years, IRC has been saving lives both in the UK and abroad, attending various disasters such as earthquakes and floods. More recently, IRC were actively involved in some of the major flooding incidents such as Hull, Carlisle, Cockermouth and Chertsey last year.

A huge thank you goes to the Department for Transport.