There is a lifeboat, but no car to drive him to the water

Wanted: car for transporting the rescue boat in Bergen op Zoom. The volunteers of the rescue brigade now often take the boat to its destination in their own car. The rescue brigade therefore wants its own vehicle to put an end to this ‘undesirable situation’. A second-hand or loan car doesn’t matter.

Christian Mouws is one of the three drivers of the rescue brigade who regularly hangs the trailer behind his private car. “We are used to it, but it is actually strange. When people hear it, they are amazed.”

The lifeboat is owned by the Central and West Brabant Safety Region. In the event of major emergencies, the safety region will provide a van or car with a tow bar. For most other activities, such as exercises and supervision of events, the rescue brigade must move the boat over the road themselves.

Damage not covered
“We would like to have our own permanent car, especially for the training of our lifeguards and lifesavers. Then they can also be trained to drive the boat. Now we are always dependent on the availability of only a handful of people,” Christian explains.

As an avid volunteer, Christian took the maximum towing weight into account when he bought his car. It went wrong once. “While cleaning up the boat, someone wanted to help me. He accidentally hit my car door with a metal part. I suffered hundreds of euros in damage, some of which I had to pay for myself.”

The rescue brigade is now receiving support from local politicians. The council factions of CDA and Voor-Bergen op Zoom ask in a letter to B and W whether the municipality or the safety region can make a permanent car available.

“There must be something to arrange, because there are also cars standing still. We are close to the water here. That is why it is also in the interest of security in the entire region. I don’t want us to get our feet wet,” says CDA councilor Stefaan Verheugt.

By the way, the rescue brigade in Bergen op Zoom is not the only one with this problem. Also in other places in the Central and West Brabant Safety Region, the brigades do not always have their own vehicle. Christian: “It is therefore high time to think about this. It is an undesirable situation.”