Swift Water Rescue
The Water Rescue Group of the OVMRO has set out to raise the standard of water rescue skills within the team to ensure that there will always be sufficient trained members available at any time. The current training structure ensures that all team members must become familiar with “Swift Water Awareness” and be able to operate safely on banks of rivers and lakes. This is now a mandatory part of team training. In addition those who are willing to do so can take on a higher level of training which will qualify them to enter the water when required.
The area that OVMRO is responsible for covers river and lake rescues as well as traditional mountainous conditions. Some of the most spectacular waterfalls and most popular rivers for recreation in Snowdonia fall into the search and rescue operational area for the team. Sadly it is this popularity together with their ease of access which has ensured that a rescue capability is essential if a repeat of the tragedies at Conwy Falls and Pont Cyfyng are to be avoided in the future.
OVMRO now believes it has one of the best trained water rescue groups in the immediate area and is able to deploy quickly at any time, day or night. With plans to run further courses this will increase the number of qualified team members capable of Swiftwater Rescue to around 25 out of a team strength of around 50, this is a large commitment from volunteers towards the safety of the public at large.
Each member of the water rescue group requires sufficient Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) for the task, currently that can cost up to £1000 per person and as some of the equipment is up to ten years old the team is looking to renew and replace these items in the coming months. Which just goes to show that even as a volunteer organisation there is always a cost involved and fundraising is never far from our thoughts.