On March 10th CCGA Aux 25, sponsored by Gulf Islands Marine Rescue Society, hosted a Search and Rescue Exercise [SAREX] that also involved Ganges CCG, Aux 20 from Pender Island and Salt Spring Land Search & Rescue [LandSAR]. All agencies met at the Fernwood Dock in Trincomali Channel, on the northeast of Salt Spring Island.
Three senior members from Aux 25 created a realistic training scenario based on a hypothetical tasking to search for people injured in a collision between two vessels.
Members of LandSAR conducted a shoreline search. The casualty, played by a unit volunteer, once located was assessed, given first aid and then packaged for transport to Fernwood dock where, in real life, there would be a hand-off to BC Ambulance. Aux 20 and Aux 25 were deployed to investigate and recover an Oscar (our life-size dummy) and two injured personnel aboard the one vessel still afloat.
CCG OIC (officer in charge) Ian Kyle, was OSC. Radio comms were preceded by “For exercise purposes only” and JRCC was consulted ahead of time.
The main purpose for this SAREX was to practice working together with other units and agencies as part of an effective search and rescue effort. Central to this is communication and being directed by the on scene command based upon the information received by them. The planners built in a few curve-balls to the events so that the participants had to respond to a developing situation and adjust their resources.
At the debrief all parties were happy with how the SAREX went and said they look forward to further opportunities to train together. When you plan your next SAREX be sure to include JRCC well in advance.