Coastguard, lifeboat and village volunteers have ‘crucial’ meeting about flood response in north Norfolk

From left, Matt Allen, team co-ordinator for the Walcott Emergency Volunteers Association, Tony Garbutt, north Norfolk sector manager for HM Coastguard, and Brian Hall, coxswain of Mundesley Volunteer Inshore Lifeboat, at the flooding debrief meeting. Photo: MAURICE GRAY From left, Matt Allen, team co-ordinator for the Walcott Emergency Volunteers Association, Tony Garbutt, north Norfolk sector manager for HM Coastguard, and Brian Hall, coxswain of Mundesley Volunteer Inshore Lifeboat, at the flooding debrief meeting. Photo: MAURICE GRAY

Wednesday, January 15, 2014
5:45 PM

Emergency response teams which helped during last month’s devastating tidal surge on the north Norfolk coast met today to discuss how to tackle future flooding incidents.

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Representatives from the Happisburgh and Mundesley Coastguard teams, the Mundesley Independent Lifeboat crew and Walcott Emergency Volunteers Association (WEVA) discussed the rescue operation around the Walcott and Bacton coast on December 5 and 6.

They met at the Mundesley Coastguard Rescue Station in Pollard Street, just outside of Bacton.

The meeting was observed by Ed Maxfield, office manager for North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb, and Norfolk County Councillor for south Smallburgh ward David Thomas. It was lead by Tony Garbutt, north Norfolk sector manager for the Coastguard.

At the end Mr Garbutt awarded a plaque to Matt Allen, WEVA team co-ordinator, and Brian Hall, coxswain for Mundesley lifeboat.

It was the first time a representative of Mr Lamb’s office had attended a debrief meeting.

Mr Garbutt said: “We are looking at where we can make improvements and changes if a similar incident raises its head again.”

He added the teams had to be prepared for more flooding and tidal surges because of environmental changes.

Mr Garbutt hoped the next time Coastguard volunteers and other emergency teams were needed they could be “slicker” than on previous occasions.

He said: “These are very crucial meetings. We are talking about what people do on the ground to keep people safe.”

About 50 volunteers from the Coastguard, WEVA and Mundesley Independent Lifeboat worked for 48 hours straight around the Walcott area after the tidal surge on December 5.

The need for more resources and combined training for the teams was discussed.

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