Page last updated at 10:50 GMT, Tuesday, 29 April 2008 11:50 UK

Mock flood tests lifeboat service

Lifeboat in flood rescue exercise
The RNLI's flood rescue role is different to their work at sea

A mock rescue has taken place on a lake in Cumbria to train the lifeboat charity's Flood Rescue Team.

More than 20 RNLI members were involved in the exercise on Ullswater, in which there were mass "casualties".

Navigation, reconnaissance and emergency first techniques were put to the test.

The team is made up of volunteers with specialist training who are prepared to travel anywhere in the world to assist in flood relief work.

Some of them helped during the last summer's flooding in South Yorkshire and Gloucester.

In 2005, they were deployed to Guyana in South America to help with flood relief.

'Unfamiliar terrain'

The work the RNLI volunteers do as part of the Flood Rescue Team is very different to their sea rescue role.

During the mass casualty exercise, members of Workington RNLI crew and the Casualties Union acted as victims, some of them representing seriously injured people stranded in rising flood waters.

Adrian Carey, the RNLI's deputy divisional inspector in the North, said: "They are all experienced lifeboatmen and women, but the types of situations and environments they may find themselves in during inland flooding are very different to those they encounter during sea rescues.

"Regular training exercises like this one are vital if the RNLI is to ensure team members can operate safely and effectively in the unfamiliar terrain and diverse environment of flood-affected countries."

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22 Jan 08 |  England

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