Multi-agency training on the River Great Ouse   


The training scenario was an explosion on board the John Bunyan community boat while on a day trip on the River Great Ouse. The boat had lost all power and had taken on some water and was unable to move. There were a large number of casualties that needed assistance.

The purpose of the exercise was to test Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Services ability to respond and resolve a water related incident whilst working with other agencies. 

Crew Commander James West from Bedford Red Watch (Exercise Coordinator) said:

Exercise Icy Depths gave emergency services and partner agencies the opportunity to robustly test their respective safe systems of work at water related incidents, as well as providing an important training and development opportunity to all emergency responders.

“When working together with other agencies at an incident it is crucial we all have a joint understanding of risk and shared situational awareness which allows us to bring a safe conclusion to the incident and ultimately work better together to save lives and reduce harm.

“We would also like to extend our thanks to the John Bunyan Community Boat Team for allowing us the use of the boat and supplying a large number volunteers to play the role of casualties for us, and also Rogers of Bedford Ltd for allowing us to use the premises to run the exercise from. Without their help this exercise would not have been possible”.

Sergeant Mike Wood, from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Operational Planning and Support Unit said:  

“It was good to see so many emergency services working together. It is incredibly important we use such scenarios to test our capabilities I was particularly pleased to see principles of Joint Emergency Services Interoperability Programme (JESIP) in action - working together, saving lives.”