Guam – Coast Guardsmen, in conjunction with Department of Defense and local emergency responders, participated in a mass casualty search and rescue exercise approximately three miles west of Agat Marina March 13.
The presented a scenario in which 30 people entered the water after a simulated collision between a 125-foot fishing vessel and a recreational party barge. It was largest exercise in Guam in more than four years.
More than 50 personnel from Guam Fire, Police, Port Authority, Agriculture, National Guard, and Homeland Security responded by shore and sea to the full-scale exercise.
The location of the collision was approximately three miles off the coast of Agat Marina. Old coveralls stuffed with coconuts were used to represent the 30 people that needed to be saved.
Responders were called in from all over the island to assist. Role players radioed in a mayday to Coast Guardsman at Sector Guam’s joint rescue coordination center, while others called E-911 to test the island’s notification procedures.
“Full-scale exercises like this are especially crucial in Guam where our search and rescue responses are augmented by other agencies,” said Lt. j.g. Richard Russell, assistant enforcement chief. “For helicopter support, we rely solely on the Navy and out on the water, Guam Fire Rescue teams are often the first on scene as they have rescue stations strategically located throughout the island.”