Bankside (water) safety and throwline training.

This evening 23x team members assembled at High Rid Reservoir, Bolton, to undertake bankside, water, search training and to carry out water rescue throwline training.

Such training is a feature of our annual training programme, and takes place regularly throughout the year. Its aim is to teach all our members how to safely conduct search operations alongside water, to practise the use of water rescue throwlines and to practise getting casualties out of water and safely on to the bankside.

All members taking part wore their team individual personal issue PFD, Personal Flotation Device, or life jacket to you and me, Helmets were not deemed necessary due to the nature of the exercise.

Four team members took to the water wearing drysuits in the case of Andrew Kench, a member of the RSPCAs Flood Response Team, Ged Clarke, an experienced Kayaker, Geoff Seddon, an Outdoor Pursuits Instructor and in the case of Matthew Hailwood, another Kayaker, it was a cold wet suit ! The hapless four pretended to flounder in the water whilst team members enthusiatically used them as target practice to throw at them the variety of water rescue throwlines the team carries on team vehicles and that are personally issued to a small number of team members.

Team member Fred Taylor, MPSRO Regional Water Safety Officer, and a very experienced ex professional diver, gamely demonstrated to all the team members what happens when you fall into water wearing team kit with a rucksac on your back, its not good ! There was also a demonstartion of how our PFDs actaully activate upon hitting the waters surface.

Two members of ’Sub C Divers’ of Atherton, Chris Heywood and Joanne Kitchen, rigged out in full Diving equipment acted the roles of two divers in distress, testing our team members in their bankside recovery methods and appropriate first aid measures, no Entonox.

The whole evenings training was deemed successful, with all team members quickly realising that what comes out of a water rescue throwline has to be packed back into it after time its thrown.