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.

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 practice 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.