AMSA officers in
Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) Search and Rescue Officers have taken part in a simulated rescue mission as part of this year’s Search and Rescue Mission Coordinator Course.
The annual training course is run by AMSA’s National Search and Rescue School, which trains staff for the Rescue Coordination Centre (RCC). The role of the Coordinator is to oversee search and rescue missions.
The 12-week course includes theory, practical exercises and on-the-job training to prepare students to coordinate RCC Australia’s response to search and rescue incidents.
RCC Australia operates 24 hours a day and in the 2012-13 financial year coordinated 7,477 incidents and 546 searches that rescued 8,978 people. These included search and rescues for bushwalkers, seafarers or aircraft.
Chief Executive Officer at AMSA, Graham Peachey said as part of the course, the three Search and Rescue Officers would be trained to spot a person in the water from an aircraft at 1,500, 1,000 and 500 feet.
“Sydney Water Police play a role in the exercise by activating a training distress beacon and one of their divers is the search target,” Mr Peachey said.
“This exercise shows students at first hand the difficulties associated with spotting a person or object in the water from the air.”
He said many search and rescue incidents required observers on board an aircraft to spot a person, life raft or debris from the air.
“This exercise gives the students practical experience that will assist them in their duties within RCC Australia,” Mr Peachey said.
Edition 378, 10 September 2013