Full report by our DVSD Handler David Marsh on his recent DVSD Training weekend in Northern Ireland

On Thursday 11th June 2015 we reported within our website ‘News’ that our DVSD Dog Handler Dave Marsh with DVSD Search Dog Sasha, journeyed across the Irish Sea to take part in a new DVSD Training course weekend for Drowned Victim Search Dogs being held by SARDA Ireland North, at Tollymore, Newcastle, Northern Ireland.

Dave was accompanied by colleague DVSD Dog handler Mike Dermody and DVSD Search Dog Quincy.

The following is a full report on this training course weekend by Dave Marsh;

The weekend saw our DVSD [Drowned Victims Search Dog] handler, Dave Marsh and his dog Sasha, journey across to Newcastle County Down, as part of their on going advanced search dog training.

Thursday was spent travelling to the Tollymore Centre near Newcastle.

photo 3Fridays training included an initial briefing and lecture for the new participants on the course, which included a member from Berkshire Search and Rescue, two members of Irish Search Dogs [along with one of their qualified DVS dogs] and one member from SARDA Lakes, who took the opportunity to act as an observer for the duration of the course.

The afternoon’s practical session was staged at Castlewellan lake which included initial imprinting of scent and the initial stages of the training programme [albeit in a rather condensed version].

Handlers Dave, Mike and Neil carried out search work whilst the other attendees took the opportunity to observe in a chase boat.

photo 3 (1)Saturday began down in the harbour at Newcastle with Dave and Mike undertaking their first sea search.

This consisted of searching Newcastle bay using a grid technique, with ‘legs’ of up to 1 mile long before reversing the search. Both dogs found the scent source and again the exercise was declared a success.

Saturday afternoon was again spent back on Castlewellan lake, with both dogs indicated and locating two scent sources which had been in the water for two years.

The photos show the area of sea where the training took place and the new boat which SARDA Ireland North had just taken delivery of.

Dave is now on the look out for  rigid inflatable boat – if any of our readers knows where there is one available – please contact us in due course.

photo 1