Scouts were briefed and prepared for a night hike along the river. Devious leaders had other plans!
As we entered North Fambridge Yacht Haven we met up with Essex Coastguard and the river Police on a search and rescue exercise! Not at all what was expected...
Liam (police) and Scott (coastguard) ran through the equipment in their respective 4x4 vehicles. Throw lines, floats, stretchers, mud walkers, flares, handcuffs, and batons...all sorts of interesting stuff and we learned a lot from them. River Police Ninja mode seems to have stuck in peoples heads!
Life jackets on, we headed down to the pontoon for a look round the Police RIB. What a fun toy to play with!
On with the search, reports of a body in the water...somewhere. Two teams of Scouts scoured the moorings from the water in the Police RIB and from the pontoon looking for the injured party. It took some finding but eventually eagle eyed Scouts (you know who you are) spotted the casualty from the water and directed the land crew in to the rescue. No Harry you don't normally find injured people tethered to a nearby pontoon, well not unless it wasn't an accident.
Recovery from the water was scary from the perspective of nearby leaders, imagining all the forms to fill in on losing a Scout. Safely on the pontoon, injuries were assessed and the stretcher deployed to recover the victim. OK, she was dead! Four brave young Scouts completed the rescue by stretchering her to the RIB and were repaid for their efforts by being "wee'd on" by the corpse finally losing the last vestiges of her dignity.
Returning to the relative safety of the shore for a swift, warming tramp back to base, hot chocolate and finish.
Thanks to all those who made a memorable meeting possible: Essex Coastguard, and the Police, Scott, Liam and their respective teams and not least North Fambridge Yacht Haven for once again tolerating us wandering round their land and facilities.
Apologies to anyone trying to have a quiet evening on their boat. The combined efforts of 8 noisy Scouts with accompanying adults, and the Police RIB creating rather more wash than is normal in the marina must have spoiled your evening. Sorry!