Mountain Rescue Takes To The Water

Several mountain rescue teams from the Peak District recently swapped the hills for the River Derwent for a joint water rescue training exercise in Matlock Bath.

Edale, Glossop and Derby Mountain Rescue Teams came together for one of a series of inter-team training exercises taking place across the Peak District region. Matlock Bath was chosen as the location due to its fast flowing water, making it an ideal venue for swift water rescue training, a skill that many mountain rescue team members are now being trained in as part of the ever expanding role of the voluntary emergency service.

The  recent flooding down South and a few years ago in the Lake District involved mountain rescue teams from across the entire country being brought in to help with the effort, leading to more teams adopting water training. Almost all rescue team members are now trained in the techniques of searching alongside fast flowing water, but the move towards the more specialised training of Swift Water Rescue technicians within teams has become more common, with most teams now having a dedicated water section as part of their make up.

In the interests of improving all team’s skills and preparing for when water rescue technicians from different teams may be called on to work together, a series of inter-team exercises have been arranged to ensure best practice, with the Matlock Bath exercise being the latest to take place. Carina Humberstone, from Edale MRT has been organising the exercises: “Swift Water Rescue has now become a part of modern mountain rescue and it’s vital that teams work collectively to make sure we can operate as seamlessly together in the water as we do on the hills.”

During the exercise, members used the section of white water rapids normally used as a competition kayaking course to practise river crossing methods and technical rescue techniques. The exercise continued late into the night and was deemed to be a great success.

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