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News & Media

  • Search for ‘victims’ in challenging Port Macquarie marine rescue test
  • June 19, 2015

Photo:  Wooli 30 training at sea with rescue dumm

Marine Rescue specialists from the NSW Mid North Coast will take to the water off Port Macquarie to search for “victims” missing at sea as part of a major capability exercise this Sunday, June 21.


The search will be the culmination of a two-day regional Search and Rescue Exercise (SAREX) designed to test agencies’ marine search and rescue practices and coordination.


Marine Rescue NSW Deputy Commissioner Dean Storey said 40 volunteers from eight MRNSW units from Woolgoolga to Forster-Tuncurry on the Mid North Coast would be among the 60 specialists taking part in two days of theoretical and practical training sessions.


“These exercises are staged along the coastline each year to hone marine rescue search and rescue skills and cooperation between agencies,” Deputy Commissioner Storey said.


“This weekend’s event is a major component of our ongoing professional training program for our volunteers from this busy boating region.”


The event will also involve personnel from the NSW Police Force Marine Area Command, Australia Maritime Safety Authority, Lifesaver Helicopter and Surf Life Saving NSW.


The exercise will start on Saturday with table-top exercises and presentations on rescue techniques and navigational planning.


On Sunday morning, vessels from the Marine Rescue Trial Bay, Camden Haven, Crowdy Harrington and Port Macquarie units and the NSW Police vessel Intrepid will work together in a major offshore search exercise to locate and retrieve rescue mannikins.


The Lifesaver Helicopter will take part, locating the “missing” from the air and practicing winching techniques and recovery operations from rocks.


Meanwhile, Port Macquarie 20, three MRNSW Rescue Water Craft (jet skis) and Surf Life Saving RWCs and IRBs will search the inshore areas along the beaches and bar area. A simulated incident also is expected to occur on the bar during the morning, testing the skills of the RWC and IRB operators.

Deputy Commissioner Storey said the SAREX series helped strengthen joint agency capability.

“This is essential to ensure that we have the best possible chance of finding and rescuing someone in the water as soon as possible in an emergency, when time is always of the essence,” he said.



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