The Lofthouse Colliery Disaster, March 1973, proved to be a game changer. At around 2am an electrician heard a bang and saw water travelling towards him. This was the start of a terrible violent inrush of huge amounts of water that trapped seven miners underground. Only one body was recovered after a six-day rescue operation.
Following the Lofthouse Colliery Disaster – MRS Training & Rescue upskilled its capabilities, to include Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus (SCUBA), as seen in the picture above taken of our Mansfield Mines Rescue diving team, based in Nottinghamshire.
Recognising the need to extricate a casualty from a flooded environment, MRS Training & Rescue developed a purpose-built stretcher referred to as the ‘coffin’ to remove a person from water safely. The ‘coffin’ featured oxygen cylinders and a sliding cover with an observation window to protect casualties from the roof or falling debris.
The continual improvement of materials, design, and technology has made it possible for rescue teams to tackle even the most challenging of water rescue scenarios with confidence and efficiency. Today, the water rescue equipment available is lighter, more durable, and better suited to the demands of modern rescue operations.