Guam – Search and rescue agencies across the island kicked off the first search and rescue exercise of 2013 Tuesday morning.
At approximately 9:00 a.m., Coast Guard Auxiliarist, Bob Sajnovsky, as part of a planned exercise, called for help on the radio from his 20-foot Bayliner reporting five persons fell in the water after his vessel had taken a large wave over the side one mile off Tanguisson beach.
“While this was only a simulated event, with a small craft advisory currently in effect throughout Marianas waters this was a very realistic scenario,” said Lt. j.g. Rich Russell, search and rescue exercise coordinator. “Deciding to operate a vessel in these environmental conditions unprepared can be a dangerous proposition even for the most experienced mariner.”
Jetski crews from Guam Fire Rescue, Police and Customs and Quarantine partnered with rescue crews from the Station Apra Harbor and Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 25 to respond to the exercise distress call. The team successfully located and recovered five rescue dummies in just under an hour, after the initial call.
“The Coast Guard relies on a number of partners from both DoD and the Government of Guam to rescue those in need, both on land and at sea,” said Lt. Cmdr. Morgan Roper, search and rescue mission coordinator for Sector Guam. “These types of exercises help agencies hone critical skills, learn from mistakes and improve interoperability when lives are not a stake”.
Coast Guard Sector Guam reminds mariners year round to always be prepared before getting underway. Wearing a lifejacket, carrying a VHF radio and filing a float plan can save your life. Do your part and help take the search out of search and rescue.
For more information about float plans, please visit: www.floatplancentral.org.