Mock rescue operation at Whitlingham Country Park

A major rescue operation took place at Whitlingham Country Park last night – but there was no need to worry as it was all a practice exercise.

The operation – called Exercise Stickleback – started around 6.30pm and lasted about two hours.

Scott Field, a technician from the Urban Search and Rescue Team based at Dereham, said the exercise was to test Norfolk's response to a large-scale incident involving multiple casualties in water and on land.

He said: 'The scenario was that two light aircraft collided over Whitlingham Country Park. One landed in the water and hit several yachts, and the other crash-landed in the picnic meadow.'

He said there were three casualties on one of the planes, two casualties on board the other light aircraft, and four casualties in the water who needed to be rescued. 'All of the casualties were retrieved. All the crews worked very hard. It went very well,' he said. About 60 people were involved in the exercise.

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The organisations taking part included Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service, Norfolk Police, Norfolk Lowland Search and Rescue, RNLI and the Hazardous Area Response Team.

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