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RNLI Flood Rescue Team and emergency service partners in Exercise Polygon training

RNLI Flood Rescue Team members recently took part in Exercise Polygon, which was held in South Wales and was one of the biggest exercises of its kind in Wales this year. Co-ordinated by South Wales Fire and Rescue Service, it brought together more than 250 people from 15 emergency services and rescue agencies including RNLI, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, North Wales Fire and Rescue Service, Maritime & Coastguard Agency, SARA, RSPCA, police forces from South Wales, Dyfed Powys, North Wales and Gwent and the Welsh Ambulance Service, CAVRA and Rapid Relief Team.
The exercise recreated a major flooding event where a period of heavy rainfall had seen flood water engulf a large number of homes around Cardiff. Emergency services received numerous 999 calls from persons trapped in buildings, rivers and vehicles across south Wales, testing emergency services resilience and teamwork in the face of a major incident.
Specially trained RNLI Flood Rescue Team volunteers from across the UK and ROI worked with partner agencies on a number of mocked-up scenarios.
Here RNLI Flood Rescue Team volunteers work alongside the Welsh Ambulance Service Trust HART team members to develop techniques and evacuate would-be casualties trapped in the upstairs floor of a flooded home.
RNLI Flood Rescue Team members also play the part of the casualties as part of the training scenario.

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.


The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland