Terry Harry, walk leader for Westbank, attended a training day as part of International Prevention of Drowning Day. He tells us his thoughts about the day. 

"The Fire Brigade and the RNLI ran several sessions and I attended as a Walk Leader from Westbank. There are particular dangers involved in walking with a group at the Quay and I was interested to learn some safety guidance.

There were sessions for groups earlier in the morning and when I arrived, I was lucky enough to have personal instruction from one of the Firefighting team as well as a member of RNLI.

It was made clear that we should not jump in to try to rescue someone who falls in as this means that two people now need rescuing. Instead, I was shown how to access the safety equipment attached to one of the rescue boards in the vicinity.  

Information for what to do in an emergency is clearly displayed and after a 999 call there is access to a rescue throw bag and a rescue pole. I was shown how to use both and had the opportunity to try them both for myself. It was interesting to realise how quickly help can be provided if the correct sequence of events is followed.  Both were easy to use and there was also a target mat available to check the accuracy of throw!

There was a short video available showing a rescue with students from Exeter made at the Quayside which showed how situations can develop and reinforced the techniques that had been demonstrated to me earlier.

This was a very worthwhile and informative session which has given me much greater awareness of the dangers involved in being near water and, equally importantly, has also given me confidence in being able to deal with the situation if someone is in the water."

For more details on our Health Walks, click here.