As part of their training, aircrew were required to undertake dinghy drills, which were carried out in the local swimming pool or in the sea.
A veteran recalls:
“Dinghy practice took place in the harbour, regardless of weather. We dressed in Sidcot flying suits, flying boots, helmet, goggles, gloves and Mae West life jacket.
An inflated survival raft was then thrown in and turned upside down. We were then instructed to jump in (high tide). Anyone who hesitated was “assisted” by our flight sergeant.
We were told how to turn it the right way up. One cadet was instructed to act as if he was unconscious, not very difficult for any of us. He just floated around in his Mae West. One cadet climbed in to pull and another remained outside to push the unconscious one up into the dinghy.
We were then instructed in the use of all the equipment in the dinghy.”
The 7 man heavy bomber crew utilised the J-Type dinghy which was stored in the aircraft wing. Additional emergency equipment was stored in the aircraft and alongside the dinghy.