The  ‘Water Safety / Rescue Awareness’, one-day course run by Birmingham & Midland Marine Services, complies with the Annex ‘H’ syllabus requirements  DEFRA ‘Flood Rescue Concept of Operations’ scheme (November 2019 revision) at DEFRA Module / Level 1) Water Awareness.

It is both undertaken by the Environment Agency and approved for their contractors, sub-contractors and third-party works personnel.

Covering ‘open water’, ‘still water’, ‘rivers’, ‘lifejacket-user’, ‘co-worker rescues’ amongst other highly practical skills for personnel working on, near or above the water.

Candidates can expect a mix of classroom and shore-based theory and practical training followed by an afternoon in the river in full aquatic PPE to emergency services standard. (Buoyancy Aids rather than Lifejackets in the river – Lifejacket deployment is a bolt-on, please contact us for details)

Our water safety & rescue courses are HSE, CDM Regulations 2015 and DEFRA compliant.

‘Annex H’ training is the benchmark one day water safety / rescue training for EA / non 999 personnel and unlike a standard DEFRA Module 1) course that lasts for one year, the Annex ‘H’ qualification has a period of three years before expiry.

Full aquatic PPE can be hired if required.

This course also ticks the boxes for ‘blue-light’ agencies, both full-time, part-time, and of course the voluntary sector such as Search & Rescue and Mountain Rescue Teams.


To enable students to understand the issues and hazards associated in working on, near and in water and to undertake a suitable rescue response from the bank. ‘Annex H’ considerations for flood & ‘in-water’ operations.

Annex ‘H’ Syllabus – Courses can be tailored to your working practices & environment.

  • Use of PFD / Life Jacket
  • Throwline Characteristics
  • Throwline Practical
  • Swimming Skills Defensive and Aggressive swimming techniques
  • Rescue from Water
  • Limitations of Training
  • Identification of hazards in the water environment
  • Risk mitigation
  • Hydrology: Still water & River
  • Safety measures when working near water.
  • Physiology effects of cold-water entry
  • Physiology of drowning
  • Emergency action planning
  • Low risk rescue options
  • Hierarchy of rescues
  • Rescue equipment – throwbags, wading poles and reach rescue system.
  • Aquatic PPE including drysuit user’s induction, lifejackets, and buoyancy aids.
  • Wading – individual & group
  • Flood environment considerations
  • Co-worker rescues from the bank
  • Accidental Immersion – Defensive & aggressive swimming in the event of an accidental immersion
  • Health and welfare
  • Medical considerations
  • Contamination