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News Archive > General > Star Carolīs survival training

Star Carolīs survival training

By Warren Wilkins 19th October 2016

Star Carolīs survival training
Carol Vorderman during a training exercise.

TELEVISION personality Carol Vorderman has completed sea survival training with RAF St Mawgan ahead of her attempt to became the ninth woman in history to fly solo around the world.

The 55-year-old former Countdown and Loose Women presenter joined one of the regular survival courses delivered by the Defence Survive Evade Resist Extract Training Organisation to prepare her if her aircraft gets in trouble over water. Carol, who is an honorary Group Captain as ambassador for the Air Cadet Organisation, asked for the training as part of her around the world trip for the Channel 5 series Carol’s Incredible Solo Flight Around the World, which is due to be aired around this time next year.

The training began with theory lessons on how the body reacts to cold water and how quickly it can kill people. This was followed with demonstrations of the lifesaving equipment in a dry environment before going through survival drills in the pool at RNAS Culdrose under the supervision of safety swimmers. The second day was all about putting theory into practice, with Carol joining students jumping from a boat travelling at 10 knots off Fowey and getting in their rafts until being picked up later.

Carol, who praised the military instructors, said: “It has been, and will be, a journey with tears and doubts, and I still have huge areas of self-doubt and massive inexperience, but I am going to push through it step by step. I will do it.”

Carol was given the best possible training for survival at sea as her planned route will take her over large stretches of water and, should she be forced to ditch, survival times are measured in minutes unless the right equipment and techniques are used quickly.

Lead instructor, Flight Sergeant Chris Morgan, explained: “Although this course was aimed at helicopter crews, the techniques for preserving life when forced into the sea are the same.

“Carol was very focused on learning, and to start with was not looking forward to being in the water, but by the end of the second day she was able to complete all the life-preserving drills she needed whilst at sea.”

Lieutenant Commander Steve Griffin, second in command of the Defence Survive Evade Resist Extract Training Organisation, commented: “The MoD takes the safety of personnel very seriously and we deliver training to maximise our people’s chances of survival so that they are ready to serve the country whenever and wherever needed.

“With the Air Cadets headquarters of the Plymouth and Cornwall Wing located with us at RAF St Mawgan, we are delighted to support Carol’s efforts to inspire young people to take an interest in flying and the armed forces,” he concluded.

By Warren Wilkins 19th October 2016

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