Latest update on training progress with DVSD Trainee Handler Dave Marsh and Trainee DVSD Search Dog Sasha

The following is an account of some recent training undertaken from Thursday 31st July to Sunday 3rd August 2014 by our Drowned Victim Search Dog Trainee Handler Dave Marsh and Trainee DVSD Search Dog Sasha in Northern Ireland;

Over the course of a long weekend, our Trainee Drowned Victim Search Dog Team [Dave Marsh and Sasha] journeyed across to Newcastle, Northern Ireland, in the company of Mike Demody and his dog Quincy.

Mike and ‘Quinny’ have also been training under the watchful eye of Neil Powell at the same time as Dave and Sasha.
For a change, Mike undertook the driving due to Dave still suffering from a ruptured intercostal muscle in his ribs [very painful and long in recovery is how Dave would describe it].

Also attending the course was a long standing associate of Neil’s – John Sjoberg, who travelled over from Sweden, to cast his experienced eye over the proceedings.

John instructs the Swedish armed forces in dog training and boat handling skills.

The first day went well with briefing, planning, search and debrief built into the programme at Lough Neagh, the largest freshwater lake in the British Isle.

Assisting on the Friday were members of Lough Neagh RNLI who kindly let us have the use of one of their inshore rescue boats and crew to assist in the practical side of the exercise.

Saturday saw a complete reversal of the previous days exercise with Mike and Quinny successfully completing their set targets.

Unfortunately, due to the horrendous weather which caused all training to end, Dave and Sasha could not do likewise.

Saturday evenings debrief was thorough which resulted in Mike and Quinny being awarded the Initial Grade for DVSD work and now means they will be available for real time search work where their skills are required by any of the emergency services.

Well done Mike and Quinny.

Dave has got to sit tight until the end of September, when he and Sasha will again travel across to Northern Ireland, to complete [what is hoped] his final search area before working ‘live’ alongside Mike and Quinny.