Plockton man helps rescue flood victims in Cockermouth
On November 19th 2009, Paul Burden, volunteer coxswain for the British Red Cross swift water rescue team was deployed to Cumbria to assist the emergency services in the rescue of over 200 residents of the village of Cockermouth. Paul is based in Plockton as Youth Development Officer for the Integrated Learning Community and is the Duke of Edinburgh Award Development Officer for Ross, Skye and Lochaber.
The British Red Cross team, who are made up of volunteers from all over the Highlands, travelled to Cumbria in convoy arriving at 16:00hrs on the afternoon of Thursday 19th November 2009 where they were immediately directed to Cockermouth to implement the extraction of over 200 people trapped by flood water travelling in access of 30 MPH in the main street of the town, along with volunteer members of the RNLI and the crew of two Coastguard helicopters. By 18:00hrs the following day all of those that were at risk of losing there life had been rescued with no loss of life or serious injury.
Paul is a qualified RYA power boat instructor, BSAC snorkel dive instructor, and Swift water rescue technician for the British Red Cross. Paul also uses all of these skills and qualifications in his role as Youth Development Officer for The Highland Council. This year Paul has trained and qualified six young people to RYA power boat level two, and has taken in excess of fifty young people on gorge walking trips on the Isle of Skye, and with the assistance of Sarah Nicolson the Active Schools Co-ordinator for Skye has trained and qualified almost 300 young people to BSAC basic open water snorkel diver, which is more than all of BSAC dive clubs in the UK combined have achieved this year.