Rescuers learn about cars trapped in water

On 22/23rd May, volunteers from Aberdyfi Search & Rescue Team spent a demanding couple of days at Cardiff International White Water centre completing a  "Rescue from Vehicles in Water" course.

As a response to the increased frequency of flooding events, both locally and nationally, volunteers from the Team, along with others from the individual Teams of the North Wales Mountain Rescue Region, have already trained to perform rescue operations in swift-water and flood environments, and are qualified Swift Water Rescue Technicians (SRTs). Rescuing individuals from vehicles stuck in floodwater is sadly an increasingly common occurrence during flood operations and over 70% of deaths during flooding in the USA involve vehicles in the water.

Graham O’Hanlon was one of the volunteers who attended the course. “The standard SRT training deals with some of the theoretical aspects of car rescues, but the logistical and environmental considerations of placing a vehicle in water means that practical experience is hard to come by without a dedicated facility. CIWW is one of very few venues able to provide this, and has a specially prepared car which can be placed in a variety of different positions and water flow-rates to test a wide variety of rescue strategies."

To access this kind of facility is not cheap, but with flooding and extreme weather events becoming more frequent, and with a number of flooding hot-spots within our operating region, we felt it appropriate to try and provide our volunteers with the best preparation we could access. We were therefore very fortunate in receiving support for places on this course from Ruth Lee Ltd., Robinsons Brewery who are the new owners of the George III at Penmaenpool, and Tywyn CoOp community fund. “

"We are extremely grateful to these organisations for helping us embed key skills and experience within our Team, and by extension, the local community," added Graham.