Riverside diners in Norwich enjoy surprise lunchtime lifesaving show
- Credit: Sonya Duncan
Diners at Riverside's eateries were treated to a spectacle after firemen, RNLI officers, Coastguard officials, and the Broadsbeat piled into the Wensum river for a training exercise.
The lifesaving training was being given to staff at the Riverside retail complex, who swatted up on how to keep their customers safe if they ever fell into the water.
The training on June 19 started with a talk from RNLI Community Safety Partner Nick Ayers, who taught staff from the likes of Wetherspoons and the Hollywood Bowl, how to throw a bag of rope to a person in distress.
Mr Ayers said: 'This is a pilot trial, happening here and in Somerset. Our research shows that for every 100 businesses that receieve this training, it saves the equivalent of one life.
'The training is completely free of charge, and participants are given a throw bag for free at the end of every session to keep under their bar.'
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Ann Mitchell is the general manager of the Riverside complex. She said: 'It's so important for us to have this training because we are an entertainment park. If people have a drink too many they think it's a good idea on a warm day to go for a swim, and they don't realise the dangers of what's in there.'
She added: 'The training has been fantastic. It's really simple and anyone can do it, and it could save someone's life. It's simple lessons like learning not to panic, and to check the area before kneeling down and trying to help.'
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Councillor Margaret Dewsbury, chairman of Norfolk County Council's communities committee, added: 'Our fire service is all too often called to water-related incidents and works hard to deliver safety messages around water safety to people of all ages.
'We are delighted to be involved in this ongoing project which will train people in local businesses to know how to help in emergency situations.'
The RNLI is appealing for other venues, managers and staff at pubs, bars and restaurants across the Broads area to take part in the training.
Businesses can sign up at www.rnli.org/pages/throw-bag-training.