Visit by Icelandic Search and Rescue Youth Team July 2006
youth team members accompanied by two leaders from Isafjordur Search and Rescue
Team in Iceland visited the Teesdale and Weardale Search and Mountain Rescue Team
for a ten day exchange visit.
Teesdale and Weardale Search and Mountain
Rescue Team (TWSMRT) are, as far as we know, unique in the UK in having a youth
section of the Search and Rescue Team; Icelandic teams on the other hand have
youth sections in almost 50% of their teams. The project, funded by North Pennines
LEADER+ is aimed at learning and sharing ideas and techniques between Teams, and
giving young people a cultural exchange experience between groups with similar
programme of events during the visit was quite intensive and allowed the 12 Youth
Team members of the TWSMRT to work closely with their Icelandic partners.
programme included a presentation at the TWSMRT Base in Barnard Castle; Patterdale
and Keswick MRTs were also visited to show the broad spectrum of mountain rescue
in the UK - thanks must go to both those Teams.
Many Icelandic SAR Teams include
sea rescue as part of their remit. The visiting Team were very interested in visiting
the RNLI - Hartlepool and Sunderland stations very kindly hosted the group for
a day - the high point being a trip out in the Hartlepool boat.
Four days were
spent in the Lake District and the group went on several long mountain walks including
Scafell Pike and the Helvellyn horseshoe - the heat was quite intense and was
a real shock for the Icelanders who had been experiencing a period of 3 months
of rain with a top temperature of 16 degrees! Other activities included rock climbing
and abseiling, and swimming in the lakes and rivers.
He programme ended with
a BBQ and the exchange of Team badges and pictures.
members of the Teesdale and Weardale SAR Youth Team are now looking forward to
making the return trip to Iceland in July 2007 - already plans have been made
for the programme which will include an expedition onto a glacier, whale watching,
and of course bathing in hot springs!
Youth Team are now looking for new members - they must be 16+ and have an interest
in the work of mountain search and rescue and outdoor activities. They should
contact Chris Roberts - Youth Team Leader either via the
youth section of the website or by writing to The Rescue Centre, Bede Kirk,
Barnard Castle DL12 8DJ
Notes For Editor
Teesdale & Weardale
Search & Mountain Rescue Team are affiliated to the Mountain Rescue England
and Wales. We provide a Search and Rescue service throughout County Durham and
beyond primarily for the Police but also for the other emergency services. All
Team members are volunteers and we rely on monies raised by ourselves as a registered
charity to run the Team. Further details regarding our latest callouts and Team
information can be found on our website www.twsmrt.org.uk