Search and Rescue teams to patrol River Lune between Lancaster and Caton on summer weekends

Lancaster Area Search and Rescue (LASAR) volunteers will be out and about on the river offering help and advice from April onwards.

Tuesday, 2nd March 2021, 12:30 pm

But the Lune also presents serious dangers, and between August and September 2020, LASAR said it made nine critical interventions, responded to two major First Aid incidents, and carried out 228 "preventative actions".

The Caton Road based charity - which relies solely on volunteers - will be increasing its presence this year, with a base at Denny Beck in Halton.

Lancaster Area Search and Rescue will be patrolling the River Lune between Lancaster and Caton on weekends from April onwards.

It will operate water safety patrols along the banks of the river - specifically focussing on the Crook O' Lune, Denny Beck, and Skerton Weir.

LASAR volunteer Nathan Bentley, 26, said that around 10 people will be working in shifts over summer weekends, with foot and bike patrols along the riverside path, and two boats in the water.

"We're not there to preach to people, but our presence will hopefully mean we can avoid any serious or potentially fatal situations," he said.

"We'll be there to provide water safety advice.

The team aims to have two boats on the river during busy periods.

"We're not going to be stopping people from having fun, but it's our duty to warn people of the dangers of jumping into a weir for example.

"The general consensus is that when we make people aware of the dangers, they have a think about it and will jump in elsewhere.

"We'll also be able to provide medical support if needed as well.

"It all depends on the weather of course, we won't be there in bad weather, but we'll be there most weekends over the summer."

The River Lune at Halton.

LASAR has also launched a fundraiser called Marathon March to help raise money for the charity as a result of the shop being closed due to lockdown.

More info can be found HERE.

People can still sign up using the link on LASAR's Facebook/Instagram page and there will be prizes for the people and teams who raise the most money - including donations from Columbia Sportswear, Sainsbury's Garstang, Co-op Heysham & Morecambe, Farm Yard Ales and Atkinson's Coffee Roasters.

Any exercise should be carried out in-line with Covid guidance and people taking part will need to sign up using LASAR's online form HERE.The money from the fundraiser will be used to fund Operation Bankside, including equipment, welfare supplies, fuel for the boats/vehicles etc and will also be used wider within the team to buy equipment and provide training to new recruits.

Nathan added that last year's operation had been successful, and that many parents of younger children found the presence of the team reassuring.

He added: "The more people that are there, the higher the risk.

"Hopefully everyone can still have a nice time, but we'll be there to make sure people stay safe."