VOLUNTEERS from BARB Search and Rescue could be responding to major flooding incidents across the country soon as it has become member of a national rescue organisation.

BARB has joined Surf Life Saving GB (SLSGB), a search and rescue charity which has 10,000 members and has been helping to make beaches across the country safer for more than 60 years.

The Burnham based rescue service is among nine UK flood rescue teams in the organisation which means it can be deployed across the country to major flooding incidents.

Mike Lowe, BARB Search & Rescue operations manager, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for BARB and its volunteers in further developing our team’s professional skills with the best training and expertise.

“While this is an exciting new chapter for BARB, we continue to provide a local service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.”

SLSGB has clubs nationwide and provide training and expertise in search and rescue, beach education and lifesaving.

It is also a member of the National Water Safety Forum and the United Kingdom Search and Rescue Group.

Adrian Mayhew, national operations manager at SLSGB Search & Rescue, said: "We are delighted to have the experience of BARB joining our coastal safety framework and also to support local and national flood disaster response.

"By having the unit join means we can further provide community safety in so many locations. BARB now joins Surf Life Saving GB with nine UK flood rescue teams and 65 lifeguard units around the UK."