Having undergone extensive repairs to one of the gearboxes, the St John Marine Ambulance Flying Christine III is now back in service.
The repairs have taken longer than expected as the new gearbox had to be manufactured and imported from the United States, where they are produced. The ‘V-Drive’ shafts designs are specially made for vessels which do not have room for conventional gearboxes and as the Marine Ambulance was designed specifically to have a treatment area amidships, it fell into this category.
Upon arrival in Guernsey the components were fitted by local boat maintenance and repair company Marine and General Engineers who are located at Guernsey’s St Sampson’s Harbour in the north of the island.
Whilst the Marine Ambulance was undergoing repairs, all calls for assistance were responded to by an ambulance crew on board other vessels. The calls were categorised with emergency responses carried out by the local RNLI Lifeboat and non-emergency patient transfers by private vessels the Access Challenger and the Brecqhou Lass.
The Chief Officer of St John Ambulance & Rescue Service said “I would like to pass on my sincere thanks to the owners and crews of the ‘stand-in’ vessels, for their invaluable assistance whilst the Flying Christine has been undergoing repair. St John, with its marine ambulance service, aims to provide a high standard of care when taking medical treatment to the smaller islands of the Bailiwick of Guernsey and its surrounding waters; without the assistance of the RNLI, Buzz White (owner of Access Challenger) and Brecqhou Developments this would not be possible”.