Maryport Coastguard Rescue Team are a 14-person crew of highly trained and skilled volunteers dedicated to saving lives.

Based on the harbourside in Maryport, they are ready to respond to taskings from HM Coastguard’s Coastguard Operations Centre (CGOC) at any time and train all year round in various disciplines including search, water rescue and safety as well as mud and quicksand rescue.

To ensure their skills and techniques are to the highest and most current standards, regular exercises take place to revalidate their training.

One such exercise took place recently at Harrington Marina.

The Maryport team, along with colleagues from Millom Coastguard Rescue Team and Burgh-by-Sands Coastguard Rescue Team, were set a series of rescue scenarios by our Coastal Operations Area Commander (COAC) and Senior Coastal Operations Officer (SCOO).

The team had to recover a casualty that had become trapped in thick, and fragrant, mud found in the bottom of most tidal harbours.

The teams were further tested by working with colleagues, that although trained to the same standards, they weren’t so familiar with.

This was to test their ability not only in a location not familiar to them but to adapt to working with another team from anywhere around the country.

This flexibility within all the disciplines allows a team member to be transported to any area of great need - like the Cumbrian floods of 2009 and 2015 - and having the ability to begin rescue operations immediately without concern regarding their location and which Coastguard Rescue Team they could find themselves working with.

Mud rescue is regarded as the most arduous discipline that a team is expected to undertake.

The physical exertion and energy expended during a rescue is very high but the clean up involves every team member and can last up to a week.

Each piece of equipment must be cleaned, dried and inspected before being packed away ready for its next use. If the cleaning isn’t up to the usual very high standards, then it’s cleaned and dried again.

Training… because it’s not only the casualty’s life that depends on it.