Event Water Rescue and Safety Services

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Events which take place near, around or on water are often challenging and fun – but can post a significant risk to participants if organisers have not prepared for hazards and potential incidents.

We can provide water rescue services for events that take place on, around or near water. Our specialist rescue teams, and equipment allows us to provide services to a wide range of events from triathlons, festivals and water sports.

Water Event Health and Safety

The Purple Guide was written by the Events Industry Consortium – and brings together best practice in organising and managing public events. It lists what duty holders need to consider and implement to meet and fulfil their legal requirements from a licensing and health and safety perspective.

Events which are near, on or around water will often arrange for a water rescue team and boat, which is equipped and trained to be on standby and respond quickly to assist in the case of an emergency.

The National Water Safety Forum states that “drowning in the UK accounts for more accidental fatalities annually than fire deaths in the home or cycling deaths on the road”.

Events That May Require Water Rescue


Triathlons involve a swim leg in open water, which can pose a significant risk to participants through exhaustion, cramp, water temperature and or sudden onset of illness.

Open water swimming events

Open water swimming has recently become very popular and is attracting large numbers of participants of mixed capabilities and health. A safety boat and water rescue team can help monitor and assist swimmers if needed.

Family Fun days

Family Fun Days organised by local authorities, NGO’s and charities often take place in the summer, and can draw large crowds. If near a body of water – these types of events can lead to people entering the water to cool down and swim, and sadly all too often we see newspaper headlines relating to drowning accidents.

Water sports events

Water sports such as water skiing, wakeboarding and jet skiing can be a high energy activity risking potential injury as a result. A water rescue team can provide assistance to operators and enable safe extraction to shore – if serious incidents occur.

Our Water Rescue Team’s Experience and Skills

Our water rescue teams are made up of highly trained ‘Swift Water Rescue Technicians (SRTs) who can operate on a boat with the boat operator or on land, in or at the water’s edge.

Our highly skilled DEFRA standard teams have training and ability around:

  • Hydrology
  • Water hazards
  • Boat handling
  • Environmental considerations
  • Flood conditions
  • Rigging
  • Rescue techniques
  • Self-rescue
  • Pre-hospital care / First Response Emergency Care (FREC)
  • Stretcher handling

Safety is everything and the main tacit of these teams is to avoid going into water as much as practically possible using specialist equipment and tactics such as:

  • Harnesses utilising restraint
  • Dry suits, personal flotation devices (PFD’s) and helmets
  • Throw lines
  • Floating ropes for rigging
  • Pulleys and anchors
  • Rescue poles
  • Upstream protection – spotter
  • Downstream protection – protection spanning the river

In some circumstances a power boat will be a key piece of equipment to your rescue arrangements and as such our craft meets the ‘Maritime and Coast Guard Agency Rescue Boat Code, the Code of Practice for open rescue boats of less than 15 metres in length’.

Highly agile, the boat and SRT’s can quickly respond to any emergency acting decisively in rescuing a person in need, extrication from the water to a place of safety.

The Swift Water Rescue Technicians are all trained to provide pre-hospital care up to and beyond basic first aid, which can include, but not limited to:

  • Casualty observations (glucose, pulse oximetry, blood pressure, temperature)
  • Haemorrhage control (basic bandaging, wound packing, haemostatics, and tourniquet)
  • Airway management (postural, adjuncts, such as nasal and oral, supraglottic airway)
  • Defibrillation
  • Emergency Oxygen and associated equipment, such as bag valve mask
  • Pain Relief
  • Trauma care (Fracture management, head injury, spinal injury)
  • Extremes of temperature (hypothermia or heat stroke)

As first responders this enables our safety boat team to provide an excellent initial response to emergencies that occur on or near water, enabling a rapid transfer to your onsite or public emergency services for hospital care.

Often your event will have land based medical provision with which MRS Training and Rescue will be more than capable of co-operating with when you need it the most.

Services provided by MRS Water Rescue Teams can include:

  • On the water safety cover for a range of activities, including regattas, races, and water-based events
  • Rescue services to individuals who may find themselves in difficulty while taking part in water-based activity
  • Pre-hospital care / First Response Emergency Care (FREC) to those who may require medical attention during an event
  • Assisting you managing the crowd at water-based events, ensuring spectators and participants stay safe and do not encroach on restricted areas

Growing Need for Water Rescue Services

In recent years, there has been a significant increase in the number of open-water swimming events, triathlons, and other water-based activities, which has led to a corresponding increase in demand for water rescue and safety boat services.

To meet this demand, many safety boat companies are investing in the latest equipment and training of their team and working closely with event organisers to ensure they provide the best possible service. This has resulted in a significant improvement in the safety of events that take place in or around water, with fewer accidents and emergencies reported in recent years.

MRS Training and Rescue teams have additional training and experience in Work at Height and Rescue, High Risk Confined Space Rescue and Mines Rescue, often teaching courses on the topics they actively work in. This ensures these highly trained and experienced experts are well equipped to provide clients with the support they need to operate safely and effectively in and around water.

Get a quote!

For a no obligation discussion about your requirements, please contact your nearest MRS Training & Rescue Centre or fill in the enquiry form below:


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For over 120 years, MRS has provided its specialist skills, experience and knowledge to effect the rescue and escape of mine workers from underground. Read more about our historic heritage, and how it has impacted on our present and future, by clicking here

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