>> Wednesday, 4 March 2009
In early Febuary 2009 K38 UK was asked to attend a training workshop organised for various teams from the UK Fire and Rescue Service. Hosted by Merseyside Fire and Rescue on the Menai Strait K38 UK Instructor Ben Granata demonstrated the rescue capabilities of a Personal Watercraft (PWC) fitted with a rescue board (often referred to as a Rescue Watercraft or RWC).
Approximately 40 F&R personnel from 8 different brigades took part in the training workshop held in the stunning countryside along the Menai Stait which separates mainland Wales from the island of Anglesey.
Not only did K38 UK deliver basic training sessions to the Fire and Rescue Personnel who attended this Swift water and boat handling training workshop but Ben Granata K38 UK Instructor also provided safety cover for the night search operation and an exercise with a Sea King Helicopter.
Personal Watercraft or Rescue Watercraft as they are referred to in a rescue capacity are a valuable Swiftwater and Flood rescue tool but are often overlooked due to the stigma that surrounds these unique craft. K38 International offers a recognised and respected training program that is delivered throughout the world by a dedicated team of International Affiliates. K38 founder Shawn Alladio has dedicated her life to developing and implementing rescue training using PWC’s and recently celebrated her 20th anniversary working with many rescue agency’s both in the USA and worldwide. The network of K38 International Affiliates deliver the high standard of training developed by Shawn Alladio to rescue professional in both Ocean and swiftwater/flood environments. The ‘K38 Way’ of training was developed by Alladio from her real world rescue experiences and over 30 years of operating Personal Watercraft. Each year the K38 International Affiliates attend a K38 International Summit where they develop training and rescue techniques to continually keep the ‘K38 Way’ up to date with latest changes in craft design and equipment available to a rapidly developing rescue market.
The culmination of the session on the Menai Strait was a training exercise with an RAF Sea King Helicopter. K38 UK provided a safety presence whilst the Sea King winch man was lifted on and off the inflatable boats. It was the curiosity of the Sea King crew as to whether it was possible to lift a person from a PWC that saw K38 UK Instructor Ben Granata pick up the Sea King Winch man for a briefing on how to correctly position himself and safety considerations whilst working with a PWC’s.
The winch man reciprocated with the equivalent safety information and the exercise was underway. The task was completed successfully on the first attempt however there are very few images available because the inflatable boat couldn’t match the speed of the PWC .