Higos helps the stranded villagers of MuchelneyMonday 3rd December 2012
Higos Insurance Services has joined together with Somerset businesses to provide a ferry boat to help the stranded population of Muchelney . The village, which is on the Somerset Levels just outside Langport, remains totally cut off almost a week after the floods, with several miles of road still under five feet of water.
Higos was approached by Alice Driscoll, a former world champion sailor and Managing Director of locally based marine specialist PR agency ADPR. Alice realised the village’s predicament and obtained the loan of a boat from Yeovil-based Ribcraft and an electric outboard engine from Torqeedo, with a back up four horsepower engine from Dorset-based Rob Perry Marine.
Higos is delighted to be able to assist by providing the specialist insurance cover needed for the boat and equipment. Neil Wyatt, Marketing Manager at Higos was initially intrigued when he got a message from Alice asking for help with the stranded villagers. Neil said “As soon as Alice explained about the value of the equipment she had been lent, we arranged the insurance cover the same day. Our staff have been working extra hours helping policy holders who have been flooded and we’re delighted to be able to help the residents of Muchelney over the next few weeks while the road remains closed to traffic.”
Paul Brookes, from Higos Insurance Services, pictured with Alice Driscoll
The boat was launched into the flooded lanes just outside Langport on Saturday 1st December with its first delivery of provisions for the villagers. Waiting at Muchelney was local resident Alastair Mullineux who is coordinating the use of the boat to ferry local residents and provisions to and from the village.
Alastair said, “We’re incredibly grateful for all the help provided by these local companies. This boat will be essential to get people in and out of the village next week so they can get to work. We will use it to ferry children so they can get back to school, and for people from the village to get food, medicines and other essential items. We’ve had lots of offers of help and have been managing with canoes and one small dinghy, but now having our own large, stable and engine powered boat is fantastic. We can set up regular ferry times and we can’t thank everyone enough.”
Alice said, “I couldn’t believe it when I heard the village, which I usually drive through on my way to work, was still cut off after almost a week and would remain that way for the foreseeable future because the water is so deep."
Alice Driscoll takes the boat on its initial journey to Muchelney