Yesterday afternoon, 30 April, a team of RCIPS officers and civilian support staff conducted a dive training exercise on the wreck of the Kittiwake. The exercise was aimed at getting the members of the dive team more familiar with underwater search and recovery in general, and in and around the Kittiwake itself.
“We went on a familiarization exercise through the ship, which has recently shifted position, and saw all of the small compartments and alcoves where persons could potentially encounter difficulty,” said PC Richard Connolly, who usually organizes the dive training. “Being familiar with the layout of the ship just enables us to be more effective if we are ever called to an emergency situation there.”
The exercise, which is part of the ongoing training for the dive team, was facilitated with the help of staff from the Lobster Pot Dive Centre, who accompanied the RCIPS team out to the Kittiwake, and guided them through the ship. The team was also tasked with locating and recovering an object which was hidden in the Kittiwake by the guides.
The RCIPS dive team, which consists of volunteer police officers, special constables, and civilian support staff, has recently received new equipment, and PC Connolly also recently completed his dive instructor training. As a result they have been doing more extensive training since October 2017, including similar dive exercises at least once a month. Yesterday marked their sixth training dive so far.
“Being on an island means that there will be situations where underwater search and recovery is necessary,” added PC Connolly. “This exercise is just another way for us to stay prepared. It’s good to see various organizations coming together to help make the seas safer for all concerned.”