With less than a week to go before summer, lifesavers on the state’s Far South Coast have sharpened their skills by participating in a massive multi-agency training exercise.
Representatives from the Surf Life Saving community joined Marine Rescue NSW, ASMA (Australian Maritime Safety Authority), water Police and the Westpac Life Saving Helicopter at Bermagui for their annual SAREX exercise last weekend.
Over the course of the weekend equipment and the lifesaver’s skills got a full workout as they participated in the mock emergency operation.
The operation was led by the NSW Police who were the lead agency.
Although the picture perfect blue sky painted an idyllic backdrop to what is one of the more picturesque coastlines in the state, there was a serious side to the scenarios that took place to the south of Montague Island.
Everyone involved is acutely aware that rarely do search and rescue operations occur in good conditions and the challenges of being able to respond whatever the weather can play a key role in the final wash-up of an incident.
Underpinning the entire exercise was the rare opportunity for all the agencies to work together.
“I think that will ultimately prove to be most crucial from the weekend is that knowledge of how other agencies respond to situations and what their capabilities are,” said SLSNSW Duty Operations Coordinator Andrew Ugarte.
“It has been a key focus of ours for the last few years in particular to really work closely with other agencies because at the end of the day what we all want is to co-operate under pressure and ensure the best possible outcome in an incident.
“That is why we’re proud to participate in the SAREX training and will continue to send our people to them to ensure that their skills and knowledge remains at the highest possible level,” he said.
The next SAREX course involving all the agencies will take place in 2018.
Monday 27 November 2017