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Bangladesh lifesavers join RNLI flood rescue training in Scotland

Lifeboats News Release

Five flood rescue instructors from the Bangladesh Fire Service and Civil Defence (BFSCD) have joined some of the RNLI’s Flood Rescue Team members for a Flood Rescue Technician course in Scotland.

Many of the BFSCD have been involved in the recent floods in Bangladesh, where over 140 people have been killed to date.

The RNLI has been working with this government department since 2013, to share skills and experience with a country where at least 18% of the land floods every year. Almost 100 people have received flood rescue responder training in Bangladesh, and four of the five training in Scotland are now qualified instructors themselves.

The team are joining their RNLI counterparts in learning advanced rescue techniques on DEFRA Module 3. These include swimming in moving water, incident command and in-water rescues.

After a swift-water training scenario at the Falls of Lora near Oban today (Wednesday), team coordinator Babul Chakraborty said: ‘Our team learning here today have already taught more than 200 people flood rescue skills back home.

‘Now this advanced training in real scenarios gives them a lot more confidence for when they return home. They will play a vital role in helping to develop other professionals in flood rescue across Bangladesh.

‘Floods are frequent in our country – colleagues in affected areas have already helped with rescue, evacuation and helping to deliver drinking water this year.

‘It was a bit colder here than they are used to, but the thermal suits and drysuits meant it wasn’t too bad!’

Flood instructor Mohammad Zahiru Islam added: ‘I’m really looking forward to getting back and training my colleagues, and then supporting communities affected by flooding with training too. The training scenario in darkness was new and really useful.’

Later this week the team will visit fire stations and training centres, to see how the UK trains and prepares for flooding events. Ultimately this collaboration will help the BFSCD expand its capacity and become more sustainable.

For more information please contact Philly Byrde, PR Officer, on 07920 365 929 or philly_byrde@rnli.org.uk

Notes to editors

• The RNLI’s International programme works with local and national partners to tackle the global drowning epidemic, which kills an estimated 372,000 people every year. As well as interventions and training, we work with countries to help put national water safety strategies in place. See more at RNLI.org/international.
• Each year around 18% of Bangladesh is flooded, and the effects are devastating. Floods and tropical storms kill over 5,000 people and destroy 7M homes annually. During severe flooding, up to 75% of Bangladesh can be affected.
• The Bangladesh Fire Service and Civil Defence is the first responder to natural and manmade disasters, including fire, flood, building collapse, road, rail and river accidents.

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 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.

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