Incident 10/2016 – MPSRO joint response to potential tidal flooding at Scarborough

At 19:17 this evening the MPSRO Silver command group was activated with the aim of requesting appropriately qualified resources from across the region to support our colleagues at Scarborough and Ryedale MRT.

Due to the forecast for possible tidal flooding and overtopping along the East coast of the UK, Bronze and silver command locations had been setup in North Yorkshire to coordinate the response to any major incident.

Rescue teams in the Mid-Pennine Search and Rescue Organisation were requested to provide a ‘type-C’ flood rescue team to support the operations of multiple volunteer and statutory emergency services assembling at strategic locations along the east coast.

Colleagues at Calder Valley Search & Rescue Team were desginated as the lead team from the region, and were supported by three members from Bowland Pennine MRT and two from our own team.

A type C team comprising a team leader and five swiftwater rescue technicians was assembled and all travelled to Scarborough Fire Station, arriving at 02:00 on the morning of Friday 13th January for a briefing in advance of the forecast high tide at 04:15.

Teams at Scarborough included North Yorkshire Fire Service, North Yorkshire Police ,HM Coastguard, York Rescue Boat, and a mountain rescue contingent from the MPSRO and Swaledale teams.

Thankfully there were no issues reported from the high tide in the early morning and no deployments from our holding location were necessary. The teams remained on standby, bunking down at Scarborough Fire Station to cover the next high tide, 12 hours later.

At around 16:00 in the afternoon (after a full English breakfast very kindly supplied by our colleagues at Calder Valley SRT!) teams were deployed to the coast after reports of waves overtopping the defences on the north and south Scarborough coastlines.

The purpose of the deployment was to provide an immediate response to any incidents along the coast or elsewhere, and to work with Police and HM Coastguard to warn and inform members of the public who had gathered to watch the waves.

Teams were deployed for several hours on the coast during the high tide and thankfully only a number of minor incidents were dealt with, with no serious issues warranting our attention.

Following the worst of the high tide, teams returned to Scarborough Fire Station for a welcome brew and debrief, after which they were stood down and returned home.

Our thanks are due to the staff of the North Yorkshire Fire Service at Scarborough Fire Station, who were very welcoming and provided accommodation (and plenty of tea and coffee) for us during our stay.