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Dummies rescued after Cardiff Bay 'disaster'.

HUNDREDS of emergency services staff were involved in a dramatic rescue operation on the waters of Cardiff Bay yesterday - though they were only saving dummies and actors.

They were taking part in exercise Y Ddraig Goch, a simulation designed to test the ability of all the arms of the emergency services to work together in the event of a serious boat crash, or similar incident, on the Bay.

Police, fire officers, paramedics, coastguard and lifeboat crews rescued 25 "casualties" with the help of an RAF Sea King helicopter from RMB Chivenor in Devon after a crash between a water taxi and a fast rib speedboat on the bay.

Divers were also on hand to search the waters around the two boats, one of which had a smoke generator fitted. Actors, complete with make-up to simulate the injuries that could happen in just such a crash, were helped ashore by the RNLI and coastguard crews from Penarth, Barry and Chepstow.

Chief Inspector Dan Howe from South Wales Police said around 200 staff from various agencies had been involved in the operation.

"It was a really important operation, it helps all of the different agencies work together so that one day if we have to do this for real, we're as well prepared as we could possibly be and that way we can work together effectively to save lives and resolve these sort of incidents effectively. "It's been very successful, it's been really useful to work alongside all the different agencies who would be working together in an operation like this for real, and we're looking forward to debriefing the incident so we can learn any lessons to improve our service for the future."

Cardiff Harbour Authority and Cardiff Council were also involved in the exercise.

Cardiff Bay barrage was shut to the public.

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Emergency services teams taking part in exercise Y Ddraig Goch yesterday
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Apr 3, 2014
Words:315
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