Crews combine for rescue exercise

Jessica CuthbertAlbany Advertiser
A winching exercise at the annual Marine Search and Rescue exercise held last weekend.
Camera IconA winching exercise at the annual Marine Search and Rescue exercise held last weekend. Credit: DFES

A rescuer hangs from a helicopter, dangling metres from the ocean as they winch a patient to safety.

Volunteer crews battle the swell in a desperate search for a person missing among the waves.

They are harsh realities faced by emergency services personnel, but on Saturday it was all part of a training exercise.

The annual marine search and rescue exercise was held in Walpole on Saturday involving police, paramedics, volunteer crews from the Great Southern and vessels from various government departments.

A range of exercises were conducted including a rescue helicopter performing a winching exercise, a missing person scenario, and a mock sunken vessel with people in the water.

Department of Fire and Emergency Services marine district manager Daniel Pell said the training exercises were an excellent opportunity for crews to hone their skills for real-life emergencies.

“These exercises strengthen relationships between the VMR groups and government agencies that could be working together to respond to emergencies,” he said.

“There are 37 volunteer marine rescue service groups situated along WA’s 13,000km coastline.”

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