TWELVE Civil Defence volunteers were cut off from the outside world and put through survival training courtesy of a UK company at the weekend.
Leeds-based Sneaky Beaky Adventures Limited travelled to the Isle of Man at their own expense to provide the training from Friday until Sunday.
Sneaky Beaky managing director and senior instructor Tony Cumper said, “The Isle of Man is beautiful and sufficiently wild to provide the locations we needed for this training.
“It’s a fact that people in mountain rescue teams in the UK have lost their lives while engaged in search and rescue. The purpose of this training for Civil Defence volunteers is to give them some additional survival techniques and knowledge of how to get out of trouble should things go wrong for them personally.
“It’s good publicity for our company and good training for the volunteers.”
The training was co-ordinated with Assistant Emergency Planning Officer Ian Young and Civil Defence team leader Andrew Foxon, who himself undertook a week-long Sneaky Beaky survival course in the UK last year.
Dr Foxon said, “A lot of our training has concentrated on search and rescue techniques but the training I undertook in October was eye opening. After several months of discussion I am really pleased that Sneaky Beaky have come to deliver a 48hour training course including managing sleep deprivation, bushcraft, survival in a hostile environment and shelter building.”
Home Affairs Minister Adrian Earnshaw met the team while they were making preparations for the course. He said, “I am grateful to Sneaky Beaky for developing this course to enhance the personal survival techniques of our Civil Defence volunteers, although I hope they will never be in a situation where have to use them.”
Volunteers undertaking the two day course are Simon Harding, Tom Stewart, Gary Wright, Ralph Jackson, Brian Kewley, Jim Quinn, John Callow, Johnny Sayle, Phil Styles, Richard Kermode, Andy Dunn and Jackie Pate.
The course was taught by Tony Cumper with co-instructors Jimmy Miller and Faye Soakell, accompanied by Andrew Foxon and supported by Civil Defence volunteer Stewart Kermeen.
Sneaky Beaky (Army speak for hide and seek) was created in 2000 and became a limited company in 2007. Instructors, who generally have military experience, train about 400 people a year including expeditions to Kilimanjaro, Mont Blanc, Turkey, Mongolia and the Sahara.
Photo: Home Affairs Minister Adrian
Earnshaw meets the Sneaky Beaky team