The current rescue boat, call sign Patrick Scottie, has seen more than 14 years of service on and around Ullswater. Photo: Andy McAlea/Patterdale MRT

The current rescue boat, call sign Patrick Scottie, has seen more than 14 years of service on and around Ullswater. Photo: Andy McAlea/Patterdale MRT

A Lake District team has launched an appeal to buy a new boat.

Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team uses its rigid inflatable boat both in water rescues on Ullswater and also to reach incidents more quickly on the eastern side of the lake.

The only road access to the lakeside and fells involves a long journey from the team’s base via Pooley Bridge, so the boat is the best means of reaching that part of the rescuers’ patch.

Patterdale MRT is seeking donations of £25,000 towards a replacement for its present craft.

Team leader Mike Rippon said: “Our current rescue boat is named after John Scott, our former chairman and founder of our supporters’ club.

“Known as Scottie, it has been in service with the team for over 14 years so it’s time to explore options for a replacement for both the boat and its trailer-transporter.”

Team member and trustee Peter Baker is leading the fundraising group for the new appeal. He said: “The current rescue boat fulfils two essential functions: it is our means of rapid transport for people and equipment to emergencies on the eastern side of Ullswater, and our primary rescue vehicle for incidents on the lake and in floods.

“We’re investigating various options for the replacement, learning from our experiences with the current boat and gathering information from other rescue teams that use different types of craft.”

Patterdale MRT's boat on Ullswater. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Patterdale MRT's boat on Ullswater. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Many of the Patterdale team’s rescues are on the far shore of Ullswater from the rescue centre in Patterdale. On this eastern shore, road vehicles either cannot reach the incident site at all or, especially during the busiest months for visitors, using local roads will not reach casualties quickly enough, the team said.

It also said it is also seeing a significant number of callouts related to watersports with the growing popularity of wild swimming, paddle-boarding and canoeing.

During periods of severe flooding Scottie has also proved invaluable in the local area and county-wide. During Storm Desmond and its aftermath, the rescue boat allowed the team to help members of the Ullswater valley community who needed rescuing, and supported the delivery of essential medicines and provisions.

The team believes that the total cost of replacing the current boat will be about £45,000 and is hoping that a contribution of £20,000 will come from the sale of Scottie and the associated VAT refund. In addition, sales of the Ullswater Valley Calendar 2022 are going towards the appeal and a significant donation from the organisers of the recent Lakeland Trails event has given an initial boost to funds.

“We need to replace this vital team resource,” said chair of trustees Chris Sanderson, “and we have set a target of raising £25,000 to complete the funds required for the new rescue boat appeal.

“Our supporters and fundraisers have been incredibly generous in the past and we hope that this appeal will give a fresh focus in the coming months.”

More details of the appeal are on the Patterdale MRT website.

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