As readers of our site are probably aware, Bolton MRT team member Dave Marsh is training his dog Sasha to find people who have unfortunately drowned.
Over the long weekend [Thursday 12th to Saturday evening 14th December 2013] Dave went over to Northern Ireland with Sasha, accompanied by Mike Dermody and his dog Quinn, who is also on the same course.
The training was based at the Tollymore Outdoor Centre near Newcastle. The course leader was Neil Powell.
The training involved locating shore-based targets before transferring them across into Castlewellan Lake for water-based searching.
Once in the boat, an area was indicated for the handler and dog to search with emphasis on how the dog reacted to the differing wind changes
over the surface of the lake. It was pleasing to record that both Sasha and Quinn located the targets [one at 50 metres off shore and approx. 15 metres deep and the other 150 metres out in approx. 20 metres of water].
Consolidation of the training stages took place over the week end, plus additional shoreline searches.
Dave’s thanks go to Neil Powell, John and Rodney [boat crew] who supported them over the weekend. We can now look forward to the next course early in Spring 2014 when it is hoped that Dave and Sasha will be at the pre-assessment stage.