Fire service demonstrate water rescue for Boat Safety Week

A dramatic water rescue scenario saw a family being saved from the water while on a boating holiday.

WYFRS staged a scenario for Boat Safety Week

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) staged the scenario for Boat Safety Week when they spoke about the importance of staying safe around water.

The scenario saw a family taking a boating holiday on the canal at Standedge Tunnel, Waters Road, Marsden when their vessel set on fire. The family became overcome by smoke and some fell in the water.

The situation called for an urgent response from WYFRS who turned up with three engines and a water rescue team. The crews worked together to  make sure all members of the family were rescued safely from the water.

Organising the event was Crew Manager Gavin Shaw, who said “The demonstration gave members of the public an insight into how we work quickly with these real life rescues and also how complicated they can be.

“It is hoped that this exercise will help to educate people about boat safety, as well as reminding them to always have an emergency plan in place for when they do go out on the water. We want to ensure that everyone understands how important it is to be prepared for any situation.”

Fire crews also demonstrated the safe use of throw lines and flotation devices to the public so that they understand what to do if they ever need to use these devices.

“It was good to show members of the public what to do if they ever find themselves in trouble on the water,” said CM Shaw.

“Boat Safety Week is an important reminder for everyone who enjoys time on the water, whether it's sailing, fishing or another recreational activity - make sure you're prepared for any eventuality and respect the water.”

According to figures, 46 people have lost their lives in West Yorkshire waterways in the last ten years. Also, 50 per cent of people still don’t know to call 999 when they see someone struggling in the water, with many people panicking and following their instinct to jump in and help.

CM Shaw said: “We must always remember that safety is paramount when out on open water. It's essential that everyone knows how to use safety equipment properly so that we can avoid any tragic incidents. Scenarios like these are critical for raising awareness among both experienced boat owners as well as those new to boating."

If you see someone in trouble remember to Call, Tell, Throw. 

  • Call 999 and ask for Fire and Rescue
  • Tell them to float on their back
  • Throw them something that floats

Go to our website to find out more.