May 4 2008
Early this morning, Team members Chris Greenhalgh, Fred Taylor and Becky Roberts travelled down to the National Whitewater Centre in Bala, Wales to take part in a Swift Water Awareness day. They were also joined by members from other Mountain Rescue Teams in the Mid Pennine Search & Rescue Organisation. The Centre is located on the banks of the river Afon Tryweryn and the water levels are controlled by a dam making it an ideal place for this type of training.
Chris Greenhalgh reports on the days events –
The course started at 9 o’clock where our instructor Derek Brooks introduced himself and gave us all a chance to have an input on the subjects we would like to cover during the day. We were then kitted out with all the equipment we would need for the day before heading upstream to the training area.
We then had a safety briefing before entering the water for our first ’wetting’ of the day, the river was very cold and carried us quickly downstream towards a metal grill called the ’chipper’ and it really did look like one. As soon as we realised we could survive this we were all a lot happier and continued with our training.
All the training was practical and covered; types of equipment required by teams for safety and rescue, how the river flows and safe places to escape, how to survive and self rescue if you should you fall in and are carried downstream and then various simple but effective methods of rescuing people from swift water.
The course concluded with a debrief at 4.30 when we had all dried off and everyone had a chance to comment on the skills and knowledge they had gained from the day.
We wish to thank Derek Brooks and the staff at the National Whitewater Centre for an informative, well organised and enjoyable day and to Nick Mattocks MPSRO Training Co-Ordinator for organising the days training.
Chris’s advice to other Team members – ’Go on the course it was an excellent day and valuable training’