A SKEGNESS RNLI volunteer joined 19 other members of the charity’s Flood Rescue Team from the North of England region for a specialist exercise recently.
Amy Coble was joined by two other Lincolnshire volunteers - Glenn Peterson from Cleethorpes and Neil Herbert from Mablethorpe - at an exercise designed to refresh their skills and prepare them for future flooding events.
The flood rescue exercise took place on Anglesey from August 30 to September 2, and was one of a series of training events planned for members of the charity’s specialist team.
It was led by Gareth Wilson, RNLI Training Divisional Inspector, North. He said: “We make our flood rescue exercises as realistic as possible, with fast moving white water and a variety of hazards, and the training includes anything from rescuing a casualty from a submerged car to evacuating people trapped in a house.
“The flood environment is extremely hazardous and very different to the conditions our lifeboat crew normally face when saving lives at sea.
“It is essential that our volunteers are ready for anything and able to assist those in need of help, while simultaneously ensuring their own safety.
“This is why the RNLI is continually developing our flood training in some of the most challenging training locations in the country,” he added.
During the exercise, the team practised manoeuvring lifeboats in rapid flowing water, defensive rescue swimming in white water, wading in shallow moving water, throwbag rescues, research and rescue planning, communications, mapping skills and camping and survival skills.
The RNLI Flood Rescue Team has assisted in two major flooding incidents in 2012 – at Aberystwyth in June where the team rescued five people and Belfast, also in June, where the team were on standby.
The RNLI FRT was formed in 2000 following the RNLI’s deployment to major flooding in Mozambique.
The flood rescue team is split into divisional teams with some of the members capable of foreign deployment. All teams are ready to travel to assist in flood relief work at home and if required, across the globe.
The team members are all either serving volunteer lifeboat crew or RNLI staff who volunteer for flood duties.