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Water Rescue Exercise

14th September 2012

Fire Crews from North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service along with partner agencies held a water rescue training exercise on the River Ouse in York this afternoon (14th September).

The aim of the exercise was to test the fire service response to an incident on the Ouse involving a large passenger vessel.

This exercise also allowed the ‘Ouse Plan’ which is produced by the City of York Council, along with other partner agencies, to be tested to ensure the safety of people visiting York and using the river. It also provided an excellent opportunity for different services to train together.

The scenario for the exercise was that a YorkBoat had become stranded on a sandbank due to a fire in the engine compartment. Passengers on board the boat were rescued by the fire service rescue boat and an RAF Search and Rescue Helicopter. Some of the passengers also required rescuing from the water, after jumping in. One ‘casualty’ had suffered burns and was treated by the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

The causalities on board the YorkBoat were all played by members of York Rowing Club, North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service staff and RAF staff.

Watch Manager Dave Ashman from York Red Watch, who organised this exercise says “Obviously an exercise of this size requires a great deal of planning and cooperation from other parties. Without their help and support these types of training and learning opportunities would not happen.

“I would like to thank YorkBoat, RAF Search and Rescue Leaconfield 202 Squadron, Yorkshire Air Ambulance, Members of York Rowing Club, City of York Council, York Wheelchair Centre, Yorkshire Water and finally the RSPCA (who have a site next to the river where the exercise took place) for their cooperation and understanding.”

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