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UK's best search and rescue dogs to take on two-day exercise in Brightlingsea

Some of the UK’s best Search and Rescue dogs are set to take on a two-day exercise in Brightlingsea this weekend.

The exercise, which will take place at two different sites, will include up to 20 dogs and their handlers.

Canines from Fire and Rescue Services and police forces across the country are expected to make appearances.

On day one, the dogs will board high-speed boats from Brightlingsea and will make their way across to Mersea Island before completing a search for casualties across several acres.

The exercise was created by Essex County Fire and Rescue Service’s Search and Rescue Dog Handler Graham Currie, to test how the dogs respond to boat travel in case they need to use it in a real-life emergency situation.

Graham 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 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.”

On day two, the dogs will search a school grounds for further casualties, which will be hidden in various outbuildings throughout the site.

Jane Gardner, Deputy Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, will also be attending the event on Saturday.

Jane said: “The work our service dogs do is amazing, they are so intelligent and have such brilliant interactions with their handlers that really does save lives.

“I am proud that Essex is leading the pack when it comes to training and experience and can offer this fantastic opportunity on our coastline to other search and rescue dogs from across the county. I can’t wait to see them in action.”

If you’d like to come along and see the dogs in action, why not come along on Saturday morning? The exercise starts at 9am from Brightlingsea seafront.

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