Children from the Northern Counties School choir, whose ages range from six to sixteen, use sign language to perform their songs in venues across the North-East. The children enjoyed a day to remember as they learned about our Marine Unit and got to chat to divers about their underwater duties.
The youngsters came down to Viking Park in Jarrow and were shown our decompression chamber which is used to train diver’s bodies for deep water, and the indoor seven-metre deep dive training tank - the only one of its kind in the whole country.
They also learned about how our search and rescue teams operate, everything from our sonar search capabilities to how we gather evidence from the riverbeds – before they then got out on the water to experience the boats first-hand.
The VIP trip came after our officers and staff were dazzled by the signing choir’s Christmas performance, and were so impressed that we wanted to repay the favour.
Marine Unit Sergeant Suzanne Crossley said: “The children were incredibly excited to come and meet us and the feeling was mutual.
“They were all so lovely and very eager to learn about what we do. Seeing their choir perform at Christmas was so moving, they did an amazing job and we just wanted to show our support and appreciation by inviting them along for a visit – they’re welcome anytime!”
Jo Allen, Headteacher at Northern Counties School, added: "We are always looking for new and different ways to bring learning to life and we're very grateful to Northumbria Police for providing such an unforgettable experience.
“Back at school our pupils haven't stopped talking about it, which shows just how much they enjoyed the day!"
Our Marine Unit are specially trained in diving and search techniques and cover 120 miles from Berwick all the way down to Ryhope. They also regularly offer mutual aid and support to other forces across the country and agencies including the coastguard, border force and the fisheries.