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Developed and maintained
by the NFCC

Control measure

Clearly defined area of operations: Water rescue

Control measure knowledge

Incident commanders should be aware that casualties in a water environment may not remain static. It is important to quickly limit the scope of the search by identifying and placing controls around the places where a casualty may be identified. The Water Entry Point (WEP), Point Last Seen (PLS) and time will establish the starting point of a search; this information should be established and recorded. Once the WEP, PLS and time are known, a judgement should be made on the movement of water and the time between PLS and the start of the search to ascertain where a casualty may have travelled to.

In channels with a directional flow, resources should be sent to a point beyond this to secure a downstream containment. To establish the area to be searched and prevent any casualties travelling beyond this point, the speed of flow should be estimated.

When calculating the size of the search assume the casualty is travelling where the water is at its fastest, usually the centre of the channel, and calculate the possible distance travelled by multiplying this estimate by the time that has passed since entry. Include any time required to reach the point downstream needed to close off the search box.

Tactical actions

There are no tactical actions associated with this control measure.