Saturday, 21 November 2009

Welsh RNLI crews return from Cockermouth floods

The RNLI’s Flood Rescue Teams, including 17 Swift Water Technicians from across North Wales was stood down from Cockermouth at 8pm yesterday, after rescuing hundreds of flood victims. The evacuation of Cockermouth had been completed, with residents of the town placed in the safety of temporary shelters.

The charity’s flood rescue team inshore lifeboats and highly trained volunteers proved their worth as, along with other emergency services, they rescued 300 people from the rapid influx of water on Thursday evening, using nine lifeboats especially transported to Cockermouth.

More than forty members of the RNLI Flood Rescue Team from across the county joined other emergency services in the mammoth flood rescue operation. The North
Wales volunteers are from Conwy, Llandudno, Criccieth, Moelfre, Rhyl, Flint, Beaumaris, and Pwllheli RNLI lifeboats stations. They are volunteer RNLI crew with specialist training in swift water rescue.

Simon Bunting, an RNLI volunteer from Beaumaris who has been hard at work in Cockermouth says:

‘Driving boats up high streets is a bit out of the norm but we are all trained for swift water rescue. We are all volunteers but the training we receive from the charity prepares us for just this situation. It's been interesting to see the amount of water and the speed of water. We saw caravans floating down roads on our way here and the devastation to people's houses is unbelievable.

‘The D Class boat is a fantastic bit of kit. Nothing under 40 horse power could go out yesterday morning so we were a valuable asset working alongside other search and rescue organisations. And it's been great to see all the search and rescue organisations working together.’

The RNLI’s swift-water-rescue trained volunteer teams are made up of coastal lifeboat volunteers and staff from the lifesaving charity, which is generously funded by public donations and from organisations such as Goodyear, who kindly sponsors the RNLI’s Flood Rescue Team.


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