Northamptonshire might be the only double land-locked county, but we still have a lot of water with various reservoirs, the River Nene and the Grand Union Canal. Recent winter storms across the country have led to widespread flooding causing communities to be cut-off, or homes needing to be evacuated.
In conjunction with our colleagues at the Maritime Volunteer Service in Rushden, we have trained a group of our volunteers to DEFRA Module 1 Water Awareness standard so that they are able to assist with the transport, launching and recover of boats and similar equipment at the waterside.
With PFDs (Personal Flotation Devices) and throw-lines, they are not only able to help with logistic support but also assist with bankside operations to keep the whole team safe.
The new skills increase the abilities of the team to support the emergency and essential services in times of need, and support our volunteers’ own communities across the county.
It’s easy to underestimate the risks that floodwater poses: it takes around 2ft of water to float a car; but it takes just 1ft of flowing water to sweep a car away – even if your four-wheel drive vehicle has a greater wading depth (500mm is typical).
Around a third of people who drown in flooding are in their vehicles; so avoid driving through floodwater: Think don’t sink!