A vital piece of lifesaving equipment has been installed outside The Minnis Bay Bar and Restaurant, thanks to support from Shepherd Neame.
Shepherd Neame, which owns the seaside venue, provided £250 towards the cost of the equipment and paid for its installation.
The external defibrillator is one of two which have been installed in Minnis Bay following a fundraising campaign by the Minnis Bay Windsurfing Club, with the other outside Sea View Heights apartments at the crabbing pool end of the bay.
Richard Turnnidge, director of development at the club said: “Minnis Bay has a lovely sandy beach and is popular year round, used for a host of activities including sailing, fishing, windsurfing and kiteboarding. Several members of our club recently renewed their first aid qualifications which included training on defibrillator use. As a result we looked into the availability in our area and found that there were no publicly accessible defibrillators near Minnis Bay, with the closest in Birchington village almost a mile away. Most of those were only available when that shop or club was open and not publicly advertised from the street.”
The club launched a fundraising campaign for a defibrillator which was publicly accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Initial funds donated by the Windsurfing Club were soon increased with pledges from Shepherd Neame and Margate Round Table, along with generous donations from local residents and organisations.
Richard said: “Within a few weeks it was clear that the idea was very popular and we had managed to obtain pledges with enough funding to install two units, one for each end of the Bay. Arrangements were also agreed with property owners to install and host the new units. We would like to thank all those who have contributed to the project. We hope that we never need to use them, but they are there now just in case.”
The Minnis Bay Bar and Restaurant manager Daniel Cole said: “As a seaside bar we were delighted to offer our support for this campaign, as we have a close relationship with many of the local groups who use the water, and some of our staff have a lifeguard background. This vital lifesaving equipment is a huge asset for our community.”
Accessing the defibrillator
The defibrillators are housed in weatherproof boxes and locked with a number key code. To open, phone 999, ask for ambulance and tell them your location. They will give you the code to open the box as well as send an ambulance at the same time.