White Water Safety and Rescue Course

The group inspecting a feature

On the weekend of the 16th April, five of us from CUCC headed to North Wales to complete a White Water Safety and Rescue Course on the Dee. The course included the development of both personal safety and survival skills as well as how to get others out of trouble and prevent problems in the first place. The Saturday was mainly spent in the water at Mile End Mill so we were certainly all thankful for the Welsh sunshine and our drysuits. A morning of swimming and throwline skills was followed by wading techniques, live baiting and rescuing an injured paddler (ie Dave, the coach) from a pinning situation. The swimming in particular proved to be surprisingly enjoyable:

"Swimming down rivers turns out to be so much fun; I wonder why we even bother with the boats? Not only did I thoroughly enjoy the course, I learnt a lot, and look forward to using these skills on future trips." Adam

Sunday was more boat-based, involving a trip from Horseshoe Falls down to Mile End Mill with lots more rescuing, swimming and rope work on the way, plus watching all of the carnage created by the Serpent’s Tail stopper. Lastly, we took on a slightly less meaty stopper for some body-surfing which was a definite highlight for me. I didn’t realise you could have that much fun in a feature without a playboat! Overall it was a brilliant course that greatly developed everyone’s safety and rescue skills. While hopefully some of those skills will never be required on CUCC trips, if needed we’ll be ready! Well done to Adam, Matt, Kai and Paul (and Ted and Andy for some spectacular Serpent’s Tail descents). Jen