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Tidal Surge January 2017

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Yet again the Mountain Rescue England and Wales community and other volunteer organisations are pulling together to help us with flood response in our area.

Just over 12 months after the York floods we are deploying for the anticipated tidal flood surge along the east coast on the 13th of January.

Thursday evening:

Cleveland Mountain Rescue Team are deploying overnight to Sandsend. Our water assets and drivers along with Swaledale Mountain Rescue Team are deploying to Whitby. Calder Valley Search & Rescue Team and the York Rescue Boat are deploying to Scarborough along with two of our incident controllers.
We also have one of our Incident controllers based in Silver Control as an adviser and to coordinate our deployments.
We anticipate deploying for at least the next two high tides.

Pickering and District Rotary Club we may well end up using our new rescue boat in anger a week before you formally present it to us !

Not all our team members are deployed with us for this incident, we have a couple of incident controllers and the remaining team members standing by to respond to a belt of snow and freezing conditions anticipated to hit the North York Moors National Park and Yorkshire Wolds in the early hours of the morning.
We also have one team member on call with Yorkshire Water, one team member working as Emergency Planner with Scarborough Borough Council and a good number keeping the National Health Service and Yorkshire Ambulance Service running as part of their ‘day’ jobs.

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Friday 05:00:

The high tide in the early hours of the morning was uneventful, the sea level in Whitby was at least 0.5 metres below the level at which flooding would have taken place. We then had the drive back to the base through a snow storm but not before a welcome cup of tea in the Endeavour thanks to the landlord and RNLI volunteer opening the bar very early.

Last night we were joined by colleagues from Cleveland Mountain Rescue Swaledale Mountain Rescue Team, Calder Valley Search & Rescue Team, Bolton Mountain Rescue Team, Bowland Pennine Mountain Rescue Team (BPMRT) and York Rescue Boat. All of them will be back again in the afternoon.

Friday midday:

For the high tide and anticipated surge this afternoon the team will once again be providing a single water team to standby in Whitby from 1400 to 2000 hours, four Incident Controllers to be based in Scarborough and Whitby and a Mountain Rescue adviser at Silver Command in Scarborough.

Friday afternoon:

Both towns suffered significant flooding events and all the voluntary assets were deployed in active roles.

In Whitby our tasking included  assisting a vulnerable gentleman who wished to be evacuated from his property in Church Street. He was evacuated to a location of his choice which was nearby. We went on to attend four properties on Church Street to make contact with the residents and ask if they wished to be evacuated. All were happy to remain in their property.  Throughout we helped a number of persons to walk through the (shallow) floodwaters in a safe manner.

Swaledale MRT attended a similar range of incidents.

In Scarborough our incident controllers coordinated the tasking and activity of a composite team led by Calder Valley Search and Rescue team and a team from the York Rescue Boat as well as providing logistic support with one of our 4 x 4 vehicles.  Calder Valley were tasked to a number of incidents in the North Bay area of the town and one of our water rescue technicians went out as local guide for Bowland Pennine Mountain Rescue Team (BPMRT) and Bolton Mountain Rescue Team during this afternoons high tide. While out in South Bay we met with York Rescue Boat.  The main tasking for this team was ensuring a safe cordon around damage to the sea wall by the Spa and cliff lift.

Saturday morning:

It does not stop when we are stood down from the incident.
All kit has to be decontaminated and washed down, vehicles cleaned, refuelled and restocked ready for the next job.
The image of kit below is the personal protection clothing and equipment for just one water rescue technician rinsed off and ready for negotiation over moving into the airing cupboard.
The cost of what you see is in the order of £1000, all raised through sponsorship, fundraising and the great support of our local community.
Multiply that by fifteen or so to cover the number of water trained staff SRMRT had deployed over the last two days and it becomes clear that the work does not stop when we drive away from a shout.

Yet again the voluntary Mountain Rescue community pulled together to provide invaluable support for the statutory emergency service.   Many of us travelling considerable distance just to get there.

Saving lives in wild and remove places……

So much more than mountains…….

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