Rescue training at River Canal Rescue

Published: Thursday, 23 November 2017

ON A DAY of rescue training 34 staff from River Canal Rescue were recently put through their paces at Red Hill Marina at the junction of the Soar with the Trent near Nottingham.

Rescue trainingFront-line engineering and office-based staff first went through the theory of a rescue, learning how to assess risks, formulate plans for safe rescue attempts and how to use rescue equipment safely and efficiently.

Sunk to varying levels

Simulated rescues followed involving the sinking and refloating of an 18ft cruiser, sunk to varying levels of raising difficulty (six times during the day). There were also powerboat rescue scenarios including man-over-board and high-speed manoeuvres and personnel rescue scenarios including a capsized vessel, plus throw bag, tow and personal water safety training.

Operations manager, Jay Forman explains:

“If Health & Safety allows, we like to train in a river as this is where our most risky and difficult rescues are undertaken. The river flow and depth of water enables us to recreate difficult situations we’ve encountered in the past—without taking any risks.”

Rescue training 2Always present as trainers

During the simulated rescues a chief and second in command are always present as trainers. Rescue workers are appointed, as they would be in a real rescue and assigned to tasks. Seniority given to the trainees is determined by the number of rescues they have undertaken in the past, with Jay advising:

“The chief must have logged at least 100 rescues and the second in command, a minimum of 80 to be given control in a real-world situation. However for training purposes, trainees will be given duties far more advanced than would usually be expected of them. Any trained member of staff can attend as a rescue worker, but they are usually put on light duties until they’ve taken part in at least 10 real-world situations.”

Office staff are included in the training as they regularly support rescue teams that are called to attend incidents. Rescue training is held once or twice a year, dependent upon the number of call-outs.