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Royal Team Visits For Flood Drills

Helicopters, speedboats and about forty foreign first responders descended on McDowell County's Lake James Thursday.

Members of the United Kingdom-based Royal National Lifeboat Institute teamed with the Charlotte Fire Department to perform swift water search and rescue drills.

"We're very used to searching in our own countries, but coming over here is a whole different thing," said NRLI Stewart Braithwaite.

NRLI dispatches a high water response team to emergencies across the world, and the team says experiencing different terrains, temperatures and even testing their travel procedures with an overseas trip is important.

"What we're doing with this exercise is increasing the capability so that we've got international experience," said RNLI member Mike Picknett. "So that we can assist nations around the world that find themselves in difficulty with floods."

Thursday members of both squads were integrated, as some posed as victims, others worked rescue drills from National Guard helicopters and others blew past on speed boats completing land search training.

Members of both teams said they had learned valuable techniques and practices from one another in the several days of training.


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