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
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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