The good ship HMS Bolton takes to the water

This evening our Equipment Officer – Water, David Cook organised a little boating experience for the team membership on the waters of Delph Reservoir, off Longworth Road, Egerton.

This evenings weekly training exercise took the scenario of a power boat having collided with an unmanned boat at anchor on the reservoir.

Three female ‘exercise casualties’ required evacuation from the far bank of the reservoir, which for the purposes of the exercise, was only accessible by our team 3.4 meter long semi rigid inflatable SAR Boat.

Commencing at 20.00hrs, with an RVP at Delph Sailing Club car park, team members quickly donned their personal issue PFDs (Personal Floatation Devices) whilst eight members of our water team kitted up with their full water PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)

Our Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE and Alistair Greenough meanwhile grouped all members in to small teams to commence being ‘ferried’ across the reservoir (in the darkness) to locate the exercise casualty site, commence treatment and then evacuate all three exercise casualties by our boat back to the RVP.

In a break from his usual role as our Equipment Officer – Vehicles, Neil Aspinall was given the task of ‘Jetty Marshall / personnel loggist’ on the sailing clubs jetty, checking off all personnel on the various boat trips made.

All three exercise casualties were located quickly and treated for their injuries – including one with hypothermia, one with a right elbow and left knee serious injuries and one with neck and back injuries.


Including the three exercise casualties all were then ferried back across the reservoir.

An opportunity was also taken during this exercise for our Trailing Search Dog Boris and his handler Steve Nelson to carry out a (Successful) trail exercise, establishing the path taken by a missing person (a team member in this case) across fields and down to the reservoir edge.

Shortly after 22.00hrs the exercise concluded, followed by packing away all the kit utilised, which included our PELI scene lighting equipment.

With prior notification to both Greater Manchester Police and Lancashire Constabulary Force Control Rooms, we also fired off some distress miniflares during this exercise.

This exercise also gave us another opportunity to further run in our new outboard engine on our SAR Boat.

We would like to express our thanks to United Utilities, owners of Delph Reservoir, and Delph Sailing Club who operate on the waters of this reservoir, for their kind permission and support of this exercise.

We would also like to thank our three exercise casualties for the evening, all aged nineteen and all students at Cambridge University; Isobelle Bolton and Hannah Cooper, both Veterinary Medicine students, and Izzy Sabini a linguist (French and Spanish) student – their enthusiasm and acting skills adding greatly to the realism of tonight’s exercise.