£100,000 amphibious ‘beast from the east’ to help flood victims in the Fens
- Credit: Supplied by Ross Taylor
The Cambridgeshire businessman on a mission to tackle the region’s flooding issues has invested over £100,000 in a specialist vehicle to be used for flood rescues.
Ross Taylor, who is the CEO of Buffaload Logistics and Corkers Crisps, has been testing the vehicle in rivers and flooded meadows.
Manufactured by Sherp, a company based in Russia, it is amphibious and can travel through water as well as other extreme conditions and terrain.
Currently, there are only two in the UK. The other is owned by the search and rescue team which cover Morecambe Bay.
And Mr Taylor has also secured Cambridgeshire Search and Rescue access to the vehicle.
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He said: “There isn’t any other vehicle around like the Sherp. It’s one of a kind and the most capable off-road vehicle in the world.
“A lot of people lost their homes in the flooding at Christmas and needed saving. At least with the Sherp available and ready to be used, we can be prepared.
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“One of our next jobs is to arrange for Cambridgeshire Search and Rescue volunteers to get training on how to use it.”
As well as allowing volunteers access to the Sherp, Mr Taylor is also looking into helping the charity set up a permanent base at his farm in Pymoor.
He added: “When I heard about their fantastic work and how they’re working at the moment, I really wanted to help.”
Barry Carter, the charity’s chairman, explained it doesn’t currently have a headquarters or somewhere central to store its equipment.
He said: “We’re so so grateful to be having these early discussions with Ross about having a possible permanent base.
“If we had a main building, it would be our first proper home for the first time in six or seven years.
Its teams were out at Christmas helping residents mainly in the Alconbury West, Ramsey and St Neots areas affected by the flooding.
Barry added: "The team is excited to have access to such a fantastic piece of kit that can only help to enhance our capabilities across the county.
"The region is increasingly threatened by flooding and we are most grateful to Ross for this cooperation and greatly appreciate his kind support to our efforts".
Cambridgeshire Search and Rescue was launched in 2006 and is one of 36 teams across the country.
It currently has around 50 volunteers who are mainly called out by police to help search for missing persons.