Friday, 20 November 2009

RNLI charity’s Flood Rescue Teams on scene at inland floods

Royal National Lifeboat Institution’s Flood Rescue Teams (FRT) are due to arrive on scene at Cockermouth at around 10.30pm from the north west coast and Wales to assist in the rescue efforts currently underway in the town.

The charity’s inshore lifeboats are capable of operating in the current conditions as they have engines strong enough to cope with the speed of the water; earlier other craft had to be grounded until conditions improve.

Overseeing the RNLI teams from the police command centre in Penrith, RNLI Divisional Inspector North Andy Clift says:

‘Our swift-water-rescue trained volunteer teams, made up of coastal lifeboat volunteers and staff from the charity, were alerted at around 5pm to join the emergency flood response to people in Cockermouth. We’ve gathered our response equipment including inshore inflatable boats, and headed straight for Penrith for briefing. The operational teams are now travelling direct to Cockermouth to prepare four lifeboats to launch into the floodwaters. We’ve got a further five lifeboats on route.

‘The dark and cold conditions won’t help, but our teams train year-round to ensure we can respond to the specific conditions faced with swift water flooding, which are different to the conditions our volunteers usually face at sea.

‘We expect to operate throughout the night, and will assist the emergency response for as long as we are needed.’


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