Is there anything better than being by the river as the seasons change? While the River Findhorn is a beautiful place to visit any time of year, autumn, with its stunning displays, often tends to steal the show. A popular place for many Logie visitors, with so much to take in, staying safe while visiting may not always be front of mind.
With a focus on visitor safety, on the 8th of October 2022, Logie Estate supported an emergency response exercise that took place on the Findhorn River in the vicinity of Randolph’s Leap.
Led by Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS), the mock incident replicated the rescue of a capsized rafting party with a number of casualties needing rescued from the water. With access gained from rocky ledges, the exercise was designed to test emergency services ability to navigate the challenging terrain.
Selected as a plausible scenario, the exercise required close collaboration between SFRS water rescue units from both Elgin and Inverness, the Coastguard rope rescue teams, ACE Adventures, Logie Estate and Moray Estate – everyone who would be involved in a real incident of this nature.
To watch footage of the helicopter in action, click the below links to visit our YouTube channel:
All Services Simulated Rescue – lowering winchman, River Findhorn
While the emergency services brought their unparalleled response expertise, local organisations provided essential knowledge of the area, helping to determine where access should be taken and the best means of getting to casualties as quickly as possible. The exercise allowed parties to learn more about each other’s capabilities and how we can support each other should a real incident occur.
Gareth Luce, Watch Commander of SFRS said:
‘Multi agency exercises like this help the emergency services prepare for incidents of this nature. Key to resolving incidents is working closely with the landowners who supply us with the local knowledge and experience of the terrain, so we can get our resources in place as soon as possible in order to carry out our tasks on the incident ground.’
While the exercise focused on a rafting incident, it is important to note that you don’t need to be in a boat to be at risk around water. With steep sides and slippery surfaces underfoot, as well as risk of trips and falls, entering the water and being swept downstream is a risk for anyone visiting the river – even if you have no intention of getting wet. Even in summer, water in Scotland can be icy cold, enough to induce cold water shock which can seriously affects your capability to move and breathe.
It’s important to know the key tips on how to react if you do happen to find yourself in the water and struggling to breathe:
- Fight your instincts - don't swim hard or thrash about.
- Remain calm and try to relax.
- Float to live – lie on your back and spread your arms and legs.
- Once the initial effects of cold-water shock have passed (about 90 seconds) call for help and look around for anything which you can use to float or get out of the water.
- Even when you are out - call 999 - hypothermia could still be a risk.
Alec Laing, Logie Estate Manager, said:
‘We’re all too aware of the risks of being in and around water and I encourage visitors to take extra care while visiting the Findhorn and other bodies of water. While we hope to never need to use what we have practiced today, it has been of great benefit to test how the various teams would work together should something happen. We are delighted to have been involved.’
To find out more about staying safe around water, visit: