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FIRE AID members, Operation Florian deliver water rescue training in Macedonia

Wed 17, Jul, 2019

For the past 12 years Operation Florian have been working on various capacity building projects in Macedonia. This June a team of water rescue instructors continued their water rescue project with the Ohrid Red Cross and Macedonian Rescue, an volunteer NGO based in Veles in the centre of the country.

The team spend two days in Ohrid working with the Red Cross, who organise volunteer life guards around Lake Ohrid during the tourist season. The project started in 2009 after the tragic drowning of 22 Bulgarian tourists on the pleasure vessel The Illinden. This year the team worked with the volunteer life guards delivering life guard training and boat handling skills.

After this the team returned to Veles to work with Macedonian Rescue to donate equipment water rescue equipment such as dry suits, life jackets, throw lines and an outboard motor to the volunteer group.

Two days training was devoted to swift and still water rescue as well as rope rescue techniques to enhance the groups water rescue capacity on the river Varder with twelve members of the group. Followed on by boat handling techniques, safe boat operations on Lake Mladost. This was particularly important as Lake Mladost is a popular local tourist destination during the summer months for many people in the region.

Yet again the team were grateful for the enthusiasm and friendships shared by all the of volunteers who are really making a difference to their city. It is hoped that there will further opportunities in the future to support the group and the Municipality who are aiming to invest significantly to improve the tourism opportunities of such a beautiful place and ensure the safety of all visitors.