32ft Rescue Float

The 32ft Rescue Floats were well built from 1/4" mild steel plate with all welded seams and using only flat stock plate. The anchorage points were solidly constructed for chain shackles and the interiors were fitted out by sub-contracted furniture firms. The very heavy permanent moorings were laid by specialist mooring vessels, the cables were then buoyed and left, and subsequently the Cuckoo was towed out to position by a coastal forces craft and connected by shackles to the mooring cables/chains.

The craft were thus simple-metal boats with small cabins but without engines. They were fitted with bars extending below the surface to give foot and hand holds, and the stern of the float was cut away so that a ladder over it hung straight down and could climbed be easily. The hull was completely watertight as there were no holes or glands to allow water to enter or exit.

The Cuckoo had room for at least six ditched aircrew. Inside the cabin they would have found clean dry clothing, a cooking stove, ample supplies of food, fresh water, dry comfortable bunks, a complete medical kit, a radio receiver, signal flags and rockets, cigarettes and books. The inventory also included sleeping bags, towels, washing gear, matches, games and playing cards.