Provisional figures published by the National Water Safety Forum (NWSF)* in May, revealed that in 2016, 300 people lost their lives in accidental drownings. The statistics also showed that a large percentage of these people did not intend to enter the water, with 77 people drowning whilst out walking or running and 104 people losing their life whilst taking part in water-based activities.
Whilst our Fire & Rescue Services, Coastguard and the RNLI do great work in promoting water safety, including the upcoming National Drowning Prevention Week, which takes place from 16th-26th June, sadly accidents happen and therefore as rescuers, it is important that you ensure your teams have the best strategies for water rescues.
Well planned water rescue training, completed with reasonable frequency is one of the best ways to prepare. There are many excellent water rescue training courses run in centres across the UK, but many teams also chose to complete their own training to keep the skills up-to-date. Using the skills you have gained on external courses as a basis, you can plan training at your own base to keep embedding these skills.
By completing regular training, you can be confident that both you and your teams will respond with the utmost efficiency which is obviously essential in water rescue scenarios. Time is of the essence when someone is struggling in water and therefore the more confident you and your team are the better.
A water rescue training manikin can become an essential part of your team. At Ruth Lee Ltd we have worked alongside the fire and rescue service, the RNLI and the Royal Navy to design and develop a range of training manikins which are perfect for a variety of water rescue training scenarios.
This includes a Man Overboard Manikin, which is probably our most popular water rescue manikin. The secret to the excellent performance of this manikin is the balance between weighting and buoyancy – the dummy floats horizontally or vertically to simulate a live person or dead body – it takes seconds to move the foam pieces in the overalls to achieve this.
We also offer a Search and Rescue Manikin which has similar features to the Man Overboard manikin, but which is constructed of darker material making it more difficult to spot.
Take a look at this video from Bathurst SES in New South Wales, Australia. It shows a Search and Rescue Manikin being pitched into flood water and shows the dangers of being swept under a bridge. At one point, the manikin disappeared under the bridge and didn’t reappear for 5 minutes! (see approx. 3.30 onwards)
Other products in our Water rescue range include an Offshore Manikin which has a more rigid torso to allow the dummy to sit more realistically in harness, and a Conscious Casualty manikin which has arms aloft. This product was developed with assistance from Surf Life Saving Australia as a water rescue dummy for IRM Racing. We have also developed a Body Recovery manikin which unlike others in the range, will sink when submerged. It is a useful training aid for Police dive teams to practice recovering bodies from inland water or under ice. It is also visible to sonar devices.
Whatever your water rescue training requirements, we are sure to have a manikin which will suit. Please contact our team for expert advice on our range of training manikin and let us provide you with the perfect new water rescue team member!
Call today on 01490 413 282 or email firstname.lastname@example.org