Water Rescue within UKSAR: consent, capacity and necessity

Annemarie Esler, Aimee C. H. Goodman, Alexander J. Wood*
*Equal Contributions
United Kingdom
Email: ajoseph.wood@gmail.com



For Search & Rescue Operators providing pre-hospital care and rescue within an aquatic environment,
difficulties arise not only from the logistics of performing these interventions, but also obtaining consent
from casualties. A great proportion of UKSAR operatives are volunteers, nevertheless, the law expects
them to provide the same standard of care as a professional. Consequently, this high standard,
combined with the proliferation of operations concerning mental health and the supposed “litigation
culture”, leaves these volunteers in a uniquely difficult position. This paper aims to provide a guide, for
those operating in and around water, on law regarding consent, capacity and necessity in England &

KEY WORDS: Mental Capacity, Water Rescue, Mental health

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