'Huge step forward' for multi-agency mud rescues

'Huge step forward' for multi-agency mud rescues

Fire and rescue team equipped to travel up to 400 metres on softer land thanks to training with the coastguard
Members of HM Coastguard and Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service smiling for a group photo amidst sand and mud in Eastney, Portsmouth, equipped with mud rescue kit

HM Coastguard has joined forces with emergency services in Hampshire to improve overall response to people stuck in the mud.

After three days of training with HM Coastguard earlier this month, members of Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service can now travel up to 400 metres away from solid ground to assist with mud rescues.

Firefighters are equipped to travel around 30 metres across areas of softer land and mud, so this training has provided the skills and resources they need to increase this distance.

The training in Portsmouth enabled the two agencies to work together and experience call outs involving mud, further improving their understanding of location, skills, and how to respond to those in need. 

Around 20 people took part in the training, including representatives from the local coastguard teams, police marine unit and animal rescue.

Coastal Operations Area Commander Tom Wright said the training was “a huge success”, and is excited for it to be rolled out to more teams in the fire and rescue service.

He said: “The idea was to train members of the fire and rescue service to mud technician level, so when these situations happen we can work together quickly and effectively with an even more strengthened response. 

“We share the same mission of protecting and saving lives, so it is important where we can to exchange skills to improve preparedness and multi-agency working. 

“The training was a chance to throw both coastguard and fire and rescue into the heart of a controlled mud rescue operation. Being six years in the making, this project is a huge step forward for our collective response to mud rescue incidents.”

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service Watch Manager for Response, Glenn Kavanagh said:

“This shared training and new equipment has enhanced our response to and joint-working at mud rescue incidents.

“Our crews are now capable of beginning the rescue of casualties stuck in mud more than 30m from solid ground, and support coastguard teams upon arrival, enabling a quicker resolution to these incidents.

“You can’t recreate the level of realism these scenarios provide us with in the drill yard or classroom, so this training opportunity was a great experience in a realistic setting, working closely with our partners, and it ultimately helps us to keep people safe.

If you’re in trouble at the coast call 999 and ask for the coastguard. Read our mud safety tips on our coastal advice page.


Share this page

Report a problem with this page

Help us improve hmcoastguard.uk

Don't include personal or financial information like your National Insurance number or credit card details.