Swift water rescue training

Flood waters are just as unpredictable as the sea but present a very different set of dangers.

Our flood rescue volunteers undergo extensive and regular swift water rescue training to ensure their safety in this unfamiliar, diverse and high-risk environment.

First, it's a pre-requisite that all RNLI Flood Rescue Team members are competent RNLI lifeboat crew or operational staff. 

Through their training they become Flood Water Rescue Technicians and/or Flood Water Rescue Boat Operators. 

The swift water rescue training simulates the conditions they could face in flood waters and rivers and involves:

  • negotiating swift and rising flood water
  • operating a lifeboat in fast-flowing water 
  • manoeuvring the lifeboat in narrow spaces similar to the streets of a town
  • dealing with submerged hazards
  • performing rescues from weirs safely, using two boats
  • defensive rescue swimming in white water
  • wading in shallow, moving water
  • throwbag rescues
  • navigation
  • communications
  • technical rope work
  • reconnaissance techniques
  • mapping and survival skills.

Regular training exercises allow the team to practise these specialist skills so that they are always ready for a flooding emergency.

See the team in action in our flood rescue training video gallery.