Page last updated at 06:00 GMT, Monday, 10 May 2010 07:00 UK

RNLI flood rescue team stages major exercise in Cardiff

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

Specialist RNLI teams from across the UK and Ireland have been using the new white water rafting centre in Cardiff Bay to hone their flood rescue skills.

Volunteers have practised manoeuvring lifeboats in flowing water, mapping skills, camping and survival.

The exercises over three training weekends in the city aim to simulate as closely as possible the conditions that the teams have to face during floods.

They were also out training on the rivers Ely and Taff.

The team members taking part were all either serving volunteer lifeboat crew members or RNLI staff who volunteer to be a part of the team.


They require specialist training on top of their standard sea rescue training because the conditions they have to deal with during inland flooding are different to those they face while saving lives off the coast, said the RNLI.

The exercises at the recently opened Cardiff International White Water have been held over three weekends, with the last exercise taking place this weekend.

It comes as the charity's flood rescue team celebrates its 10th anniversary.

A charity spokeswoman said: "The RNLI FRT's (flood rescue team) most recent deployment was to the floods at Cockermouth at the end of 2009 where over 200 people were rescued from the rapid influx of water.

"The RNLI FRT was formed in 2000 following the RNLI's deployment to Mozambique in March of that year. The main flood rescue team is split into three sub teams with up to 20 people in each, which rotate their state of readiness.

"All teams are ready to travel to assist in flood relief work at home and across the globe."

The FRT is available at 24 hours notice to deploy anywhere in the world where waterborne search and rescue is needed due to natural disaster.

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