Friday the 24th of June was a memorable day for 6 of the Blue Therapy Active members who journeyed to Stanborough Park Watersports Centre for a day of training on a British Canoeing accredited course covering foundational safety and rescue training.
David our tutor and assessor for the day at this wonderful facility was from the off amazing with his funny and laid back approach that is synonymous with British Canoeing. Putting everyone at ease from the get go, we laughed, had fun and learnt heaps.
We had a range of craft to play with throughout the day including paddle boards, sit on top kayaks, sit in kayaks and canoes. With a mixture of theory and practical ahead of us first on the agenda was coffee following the drive up.
Acronyms, throw lines and discussions around safety in general was the first on the curriculum before heading outside to put some of this into practice. A few games and friendly competitions between participants followed with Hayley and Sarah on a throw off with their ballerina dance like skills come into play lol
Next up was various forms of towing exploration with some fantastic alternatives offered by David. Seeing how towing the various craft can differ so much was an eye opener for some with the simple, effective and efficient methods utilised.
Now was time for some lunch and to enjoy the park from a more relaxed position as we soaked up our surroundings. The morning had consisted of some excellent skills and knowledge and the dry part (well mostly) of the day was out of the way.
The afternoon was to be a wet one as we were taken through a myriad of rescues including capsized paddlers, righting of various boats, paddler and equipment retrieval and more. We had a lot of fun in this segment of the course and a lot of splashes and giggles.
Learning to work solo or with another and even as a team as we made our way through the various types of rescues. This would also include some vital assessments and timed to add that extra little bit of pressure to us. It was imperative that we carried these out successfully to ensure our pass marks for the end of the course.
This course we can honestly say was invaluable to those that attended and in our opinion a must for any paddlers that take to the water. Having the skills to help yourself or anyone else that finds themselves in trouble is essential.
Wether you are looking to undertake a course like this or looking to gain some knowledge and skills around safety and rescue we definitely recommend looking into any of the various courses or awards on offer.
Safe to say that the day concluded with successful passes for all those in attendance, with some very relieved and happy faces around the classroom. We would like to express our thanks and gratitude to Stanborough Park for their hospitality and especially to David for his time, patience and the delivery of an outstanding course.
For anyone looking to attend an FSRT we will be happy to organise with David future dates for people. We also have our Blue Therapy Active rescue skills and safety workshops on the website. As RNLI ambassadors and with some of us Coastguard Rescue Officers, we can't press home enough just how important it is to have some knowledge and skills that could potentially save you or someone else life.