Watersafe Search and Rescue Team helps save the day at mud and obstacle sporting event

Published:  07 April, 2014

WUKSART deployed five swift water rescue technicians with throw lines and a nine-metre Reach & Rescue pole with a flotation collar on the end that could help competitors out of the water if required.

The Watersafe UK Search & Rescue Team (WUKSART) has to raise every penny by whatever means it can, in order to continue to provide its valuable water rescue services. One of the roles that WUKSART play is that of providing safety and rescue cover for water-related events throughout the year.

The first event of 2014 where WUKSART provided this cover was the Wild Run event, which is one of the X-Runner race series. This mud run and obstacle course event was held at a new location and approximately 2,500 competitors took part in the 5 km or 10 km race circuit. The Wild Run circuit contained 25 obstacles of which three of them were water related. The main water obstacle was the eight-metre water slide, which finished off in a large lake, where the competitors would then have to swim approximately 15 metres to the opposite bank. The water was at a very cool temperature of only 11 degrees Celsius.

The participants were released in groups of 250 every half an hour with the elite group of top performers starting first. ‘The elite group came through our point without incident as did the second wave, although we did assist a few competitors with getting out of the water due to cold water shock,’ said Joanne Taylor, member of the WUKSART Team and marketing manager for Reach & Rescue.

After the third wave came through, WUKSART technicians were put to the test very quickly. A small group of women came down the slide together and as they entered the water one particular lady suffered severely from the shock of the cold water.

‘As soon as she entered the lake she was gasping for air after which she panicked. One of the technicians was trying to talk to her and he repeatedly told her to swim to the yellow flotation collar on the end of the rescue pole, only a couple of metres away from her.’

At this point the woman submerged, and this in turn caused the other participants to panic. Immediately the rescue technician waded out further into the water to the location where the woman went under water after which she managed to grab hold of the pole with her hand. With help of the rescue pole the woman was pulled safely on to the shore, where she was checked over by a medic and eventually she carried on with her race.

Throughout the day WUKSART assisted over 200 competitors and carried out two rescues with the 9-metre Reach & Rescue pole.

  • Operation Florian

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