Essex Freemasons fund eyes on the sea to help save lives

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New state of the art CCTV cameras will ensure that eyes will always be on the sea looking out for people in distress and saving lives around the Canvey coastline, thanks to a series of grants from Essex Freemasons.

The money, totalling some £3,600, has been donated to the Coastwatch charity situated in the grounds of Canvey Island Yacht Club. It is one of the busiest areas in the country for call outs to rescue people in difficulty, which means that CCTV has become a vital tool to assist volunteers on the ground.

Grahame Harris, Station Manager at the Canvey HQ, explained: “Because of the tidal situation which can catch out unwary visitors and the large numbers who enjoy being on the sea the Coastguard record more incidents around the Canvey and Southend area establishing the Southend RNLI Station as the busiest in the country.”

“This is why we needed to install CCTV to ensure that we always had eyes out to sea to provide a record of incidents and ensure that rescue teams can reach those in distress as quickly as possible. This is why the money from Essex Freemasons will make such a difference.”

The £3,600 needed to fund the new TV system was made up from donations from St Katharines Chapter which meets at Rochford, a direct grant from the Essex Freemasons Community Fund and additional donations from St. Katharine’s Lodge and from Counos Lodge which meets at Southend.

“One of the members of St. Katharine’s Lodge, Bill Blissett, is a volunteer at Coastwatch, Canvey,” said Keith Frost, Charity Steward for St Katharines Chapter. “He told us of the need to raise money to pay for new CCTV equipment and once we knew how it would be used, our members were pleased to authorise a donation.”

Members of St Katharine’s Chapter and Lodge and Counos, together with other senior Essex Freemasons turned out in force to see how the money had been spent and the difference the new CCTC system will make. They are pictured with Station Manager Grahame and volunteers Bill Blissett and Joanne Stapleton.

Braham Djidjelli

Deputy Group Communications Officer
Provincial Grand Lodge of Essex