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News & Media

  • Marine Rescue volunteers join mini-SAREX on Northern Rivers
  • March 29, 2015

More than 25 volunteers from Marine Rescue Iluka Yamba, Wooli and Evans Head joined the first Northern Rivers mini-Search and Rescue Exercise for 2015 this weekend.

While their colleagues from the Hunter-Central Coast region were taking part in a full-scale SAREX at Newcastle, the north coast crews were tasked to search for two ‘missing persons’ lost after a cargo plane travelling north ditched in the ocean off Yamba/Iluka.

Run as a real-time activation, the exercise was based at the Search and Rescue Coordination Centre at MR Iluka Yamba, with vessels from the three units tasked out of their home ports.

The first team, from MR Iluka Yamba, kicked into gear at 7am, recording information on the simulated crash, plotting search patterns, liaising with the NSW Police Marine Area Command and the MRNSW Regional Controller and monitoring transmissions from and relaying tasking information to the On Scene Command Vessel, Iluka Yamba 30.

After a full briefing from the Team 1 Watch Officer, the second team of Wooli and Evans Head members began operations in the SARCC at 10am.

The team was required to record salient information relating to search leg start and completion times, calculate completion times for each leg, conduct welfare checks on crews, monitor search tracks of rescue vessels, update electronic charts with search data and record details on the MRNSW Seahawk vessel tracking system.

After handing over to Team 2, Team 1 was debriefed and took part in a simulated media conference.

After the two ‘missing persons’ were successfully located and medically assessed, the operation ended and the vessels returned to Iluka Bay for a debrief.


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