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With two major rivers, seven large reservoirs and many other areas of water there is no surprise that many of the Team's callouts are water related. To ensure Team safety and effectiveness, all Team members are offered basic water awareness training. This includes identifying hazards in the water and features likely to hold or "attract" a missing person.

The Team also have a number of qualified Swift Water Technicians. The training involved gives the Swift Water Technicians experience of moving water. The Teams Swift-water Technicians are responsible for training the remainder of the team. Where necessary a feature identified in the course of a search can be brought to the attention of police divers. While the Swift Water Technicians are trained in swift water rescues, as volunteers they are unlikely to be on the scene of many incidents until it is too late. However their training and experience is still essential for safeguarding the Team.

The Team also operate a Canoe Team which can search rivers and still water from their boats. Searching from the water has the advantage of being fast and efficient. Often when searching a river bank most of a searchers energies go into making their way along the bank - moving on the water avoids this problem. Indeed often riverbanks become only penetrable using crag gear if at all. A further advantage of canoeists is that their depth of experience allows them to search moving water very effectively.

We expect Canoe Team members to be capable of looking after themselves on a wide range of water grades (solid BCU 4* standard). They are also expected to attend at least one training event every year and be capable of working in an impromptu team and as part of a larger Team effort. They should hold a first aid qualification and be over 18 years old (insurance purposes). Ideally they will also have their own transport, live in or near the Durham watershed and have a full set of white-water paddling equipment. An email address is also very helpful. If you would like to get involved please have a look here and contact the Canoe Team Leader. An online application form may be found here.


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CHARITY REG NO: 508877                                   PRESIDENT: THE HON HARRY VANE