Saving Lives Together
Serve On volunteers have been in life-saving action in support of our friends at SARAID Avon CRT.
Members of Salisbury Community Resilience Team pulled a 22-year-old man out of the River Avon in Bath at 1.30am on Friday morning as they carried out boat patrols in support of the Avon CRT’s pre-Christmas campaign to cut drowning deaths in the city.
No fewer than 13 men have died in the river in Bath since 2008 so SARAID’s Avon Community Resilience Team have teamed up with Avon Fire and Rescue Service, Bath and North East Somerset River Safety Group and Bath Student Community Partnership to try to stop the tragedies.
Particularly at risk are students when they have been drinking heavily and in the autumn SARAID volunteers saved two people alongside the river during Freshers’ Week.
No sooner had Sherry Coles, Andy Gealer and the SARAID team been presented with commendations for those actions by Avon Fire and Rescue Service at the beginning of this month than the team was back out on nightly patrols as the risk of drownings rose with the start of festive celebrations.
Serve On’s Community Resilience Teams were requested to add their boat capability to the #GotYaBack and #DontDrinkAndDrown campaign and were happy to give their support to the great work being done by Avon CRT.
They also jointly manned the Operations Room which coordinated the different patrols.
With hundreds of people out and about drinking in Bath in the run-up to Christmas, land-based SARAID patrols helped several people who found themselves dangerously close to the river at night last week.
They successfully dealt with one very distressed young man, several drunks and one case of hypothermia, and cleared numerous people away from the river, via the emergency services.
Without their actions, Serve On’s boat patrols might have been much busier.
Mercifully, our volunteers had a few quiet nights as they patrolled the river from 10pm to 3am but at 1.30am on Thursday night/Friday morning a Serve On boat crew heard a cry in the dark and when they went to investigate they found a 22-year-old man in the river holding on to a boat mooring line.
Serve On Operations Manager Craig Elsdon said: “They promptly recovered him, administered first aid and we got the ambulance service to look after him.
“He was very cold. If he had been in there much longer it would have been a different kettle of fish. He was very grateful.”
Our volunteers will be back patrolling the river, in support of SARAID Avon CRT, this Wednesday to Friday.
*Our amazing volunteers offer their time for free, but such deployments still cost money.
If you can, please donate to help the work we do.
Serve On and SARAID CRTs jointly ran an Operations Room to coordinate their patrols.