Norfolk search and rescue team hold training session with Horning pub as part of waterside safety campaign
- Credit: Archant
A water safety campaign launched to enlighten riverside pubs and companies on drowning risks and equip them with a simple life-saving tool has held its first training session.
Norfolk Lowland Search and Rescue (NORLSAR) hopes to educate restaurants, businesses and watering holes around the Broads on how to keep customers and boaters safe using a 'throwbag' – a 25-metre rope in a bag which costs around £20.
Earlier this month, they visited the Ferry Inn at Horning to train staff members, giving them advice on what steps to take when somebody gets into difficulty.
Jim Whiteside, fundraising officer for NORLSAR and lead trainer on the day, said: 'The risks associated with water are often underestimated, and suitable precautions are rarely taken.
'It's a common misconception that 'I'm all right, I can swim' or 'the water isn't that cold', but swimming in a river or Broad is much different to swimming in a heated swimming pool, as swimming in clothing is to swimming in a swimsuit.
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'Even though in the summer the water might not be freezing, it's still cold enough to start to affect how your muscles work after just a few minutes – which makes just staying afloat very difficult.'
He said that mooring boats and getting on and off were some of the 'most hazardous activities' for holidaymakers, with 'unexpected movement of boats, slips and trips, sudden stops and collisions, ropes and spinning propellers' among the dangers.
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Mr Whiteside talked pub staff through the 'talk, reach, throw' approach, advising them to first get the casualty's attention and encourage them to swim or walk to safety.
If they are unable to, he said rescuers should attempt to reach them with a boat hook, mop or similar tool to pull them to safety. If it fails, a throwbag or life ring should be used.
'Just like basic first aid training, NORLSAR believes that basic water safety training should be essential for anyone who spends a lot of time near rivers, broads or inland waters,' Mr Whiteside added.
Any businesses interested in getting involved should email email@example.com
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