Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


Search and rescue dogs from across the UK to visit Essex for boat training event

Search and Rescue dogs from across the UK are heading to Essex this weekend to put their skills to the test in a boat-related exercise.

The event, which is the biggest of its kind in this country, will see 28 dogs from a variety of emergency services from as far afield as the highlands of Scotland taking part in an intense search scenario.

Setting off from Morgan Marine in Brightlingsea, the dogs will travel via high-speed boats to Mersea Island, where they will be tasked with a remote search.

In a unique opportunity to test how the animals respond to the potentially traumatic experience of boat travel, the dogs will then need to locate hidden or trapped items once on the island – which will be materials tailored to suit their specialism including:
•Dummy/model people

Event organiser and Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) Dog Handler Graham Currie said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for us to work together as emergency services and put our search and rescue dogs to the test.

“These animals are highly trained and are incredibly good at what they do: working in high pressure circumstances to be there for people who are trapped, in need of rescue or who are part of criminal investigations.”

Graham and his USAR colleagues will be taking part in the event, many of whom have been deployed overseas as part of their International Search and Rescue responsibilities.

The event will also support the Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI), with donations welcomed using the various buckets which will be available throughout the day.


Want to join us?

If you’re in the Brightlingsea area or would like to come along, you can see the dogs in action from 9.30am on Saturday (20 October) at: The Boatyard, Shipyard Estate, Copperas Rd, Brightlingsea, Colchester, CO7 0AR.

Alternatively, you can follow our social media channels on the day for coverage of the event: and

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