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Rescue Boat (Driver / Crew)

You will be operating as crews (driver & crewman) throughout the event and rotating around the various positions on the course . Each boat has a zone to cover on the course, and you rotate through these on an on-going basis. Boat crews are co-ordinated by a team leader, who will also provide a full and thorough briefing prior to the event.

Key Duties:

  • Support the kayakers working around you – you watch the kayakers; they watch the swimmers.
  • Provide evacuation of casualties, to the medical evac pontoon, if required.
  • Drivers are also responsible for ensuring their craft is driven in a safe & responsible way at all times.

Minor Casualties – Any competitor retiring from the event but does not need immediate medical support:

  • Should initially be supported by the kayakers/lifeguards and towed (by the kayaker) out of the swim lane (so as not to impeded other competitors). Kayakers should raise a paddle in the air to attract the attention of the nearest rescue boat.
  • You can then approach to extract the casualty into your boat/craft and take them to the medical evacuation pontoon.
  • No competitors should be extracted to any other point other than the medical evac point.

Major Casualties – Any competitor that is unconscious or requires immediate medical support:

  • The identifying lifeguard/kayaker should raise the alarm by sounding one long, continuous whistle blast (whistles will be issued to all kayakers / lifeguards and will only be used for this purpose).
  • The kayaker/lifeguard should then maintain contact with the casualty, supporting them where they can.
  • Other kayakers / lifeguards will move in to block other competitors and create a space clear of swimmers for the rescue boat to operate in, if required.
  • Once there is a safe area, the rescue craft should enter the swim lane to extract the casualty to the medical evac point at speed.
  • The medical team will be on stand-by to receive the casualty.

If you are evacuating a casualty it’s important you radio through the following details for the purposes of swimmer tracking:

  • Swimmer number
  • Status of casualty (P1 = Unconscious, P2 = Minor Medical, P3 = Retiring for any other reason)
  • Reason for extraction
  • Location of extraction

Each crew will be in radio contact with control, and provided with a coloured bib, to identify your boat/call sign. Crews should provide any other clothing they wish to wear, and dress appropriately for the weather. If you have your own lifejacket/buoyancy aid, please do bring it with you (there will be a few spares on-site).

Boat crews will have the opportunity to practice the medical evacuation handover/process prior to the event, to ensure they are comfortable with recovering a casualty to the medical pontoon at speed.

Qualifications required

There are certain qualifications or experience you will need to be part of the Rescue Boat team. For you to be accepted on the team you’ll need to hold at least one of the following qualifications. The list below is by no means exhaustive so please get in touch if you hold an award not listed.

You must list and upload all relevant qualifications onto the registration system so that we are able to see these when selecting teams for events.


  • RYA L2 Powerboat / Advanced Powerboat / Safety Boat
  • SLSGB IRB Helm
  • Swim Safety Boat Crew Induction


  • SLSGB IRB Crew
  • Swim Safety Boat Crew Induction

(Swim Safety Boat Crew Inductions need to be renewed annually)

Further info on the boat crew training and rescue boat crew guidance can be found here.

P1 Casualty Evacuation Procedure