Major rescue exercise takes place on Wroxham Broad

A rescue exercise organised by Broads Tours, in association with Sail and Power Boat Training Limite

A rescue exercise organised by Broads Tours, in association with Sail and Power Boat Training Limited, took place on Wroxham Broad on Wednesday (March 9). The exercise involved HM Coastguard, the RNLI, the Broads Authority, Norfolk Police's Broadsbeat, and Norfolk Lowland Search and Rescue. Photo: Oli Franzen. - Credit: Oli Franzen

Two major multi-agency rescues appeared to be under way in Wroxham Broad as a special exercise took place to test emergency response plans on the water.

A rescue exercise organised by Broads Tours, in association with Sail and Power Boat Training Limite

A rescue exercise organised by Broads Tours, in association with Sail and Power Boat Training Limited, took place on Wroxham Broad on Wednesday (March 9). The exercise involved HM Coastguard, the RNLI, the Broads Authority, Norfolk Police's Broadsbeat, and Norfolk Lowland Search and Rescue. Photo: Oli Franzen. - Credit: Oli Franzen

The event today, which was organised by Wroxham-based boating company Broads Tours in association with Ian Patience of Sail and Power Boat Training Limited, was said to be the first event of its kind since 2004.

It saw HM Coastguard, the RNLI, The Broads Authority, Norfolk Constabulary Broadsbeat, and Norfolk Lowland Search and Rescue take part in two search and rescue scenarios in strong winds and driving rain.

The first involved a child and two adults - represented by life-sized dummies - falling from one of the Broads Tours' passenger boats and the second involved a man going missing and assumed overboard during a night cruise.

After the rescues the different agencies took part in a debrief at Norfolk Broads Yacht Club.

Barbara Greasley, from Broads Tours, said: 'The training session has been a fantastic success, a real triumph of the various agencies coming together to share their experience and expertise.'

She added: 'We hope to organise many more operations like this in the future, to both further the training of our staff and to help to improve safety for everyone boating on the Broads.'

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Jeremy Littlewood, from HM Coastguard, said: 'It's been a really important exercise to get organisations working together so that we are aware of each other's capabilities in a search and rescue scenario.'

Paul Barker, from the RNLI, said: 'To see organisations engaging in this way is really good. It's about readiness and testing plans and skills are suitable, which is what has been proven today so that more people can enjoy and respect the water safely.'

Do you have a story about the Broads? Email Broads and tourism correspondent Lauren Cope at lauren.cope@archant.co.uk

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