Coast Guard, partner agencies to conduct search and rescue exercise off Maui

Coast Guard 45-foot Response Boat -Medium file photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Rob Lester)

USCG File Photo

HONOLULU — The Coast Guard, Maui Fire Department, Maui 911 Dispatch, Ocean Safety and Lifeguard Services, and Maui Emergency Management Services are scheduled to conduct a search and rescue exercise in Maui, Thursday.

The exercise will take place on the water and in the air near Molokini Crater with Coast Guard and local agencies working together to test and evaluate interagency communications, response plans, and responders’ actions during a simulated exercise of a response to a missing diver. The exercise will be conducted from 7 to 11 a.m.

During the search and rescue exercise, multiple agencies’ assets will be launched, including the use of an Oscar mannequin equipped with an orange helmet and vest with an orange data buoy marker in the water. Oscar is weighted and used to simulate a person in the water. The general public is asked not to disturb Oscar or the data buoy marker, if found.

Assets are expected to include: a Coast Guard Station Maui 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew, an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point, a helicopter crew, boat and ladder truck crews from the Maui Fire Department, a jet ski crew from Ocean Safety and an ambulance crew on standby from EMS.

The SAREX is being conducted to evaluate notification and response procedures between first responders and to identify any shortfalls in communication and coordination of response during search and rescue incidents. Each agency holds special capabilities that compliment each other’s efforts and bolsters the overall success of the search and rescue system.

Although people are requested to stay clear of any boating area involved in the exercise, designated by the presence of Oscar, boats and other assets, the general public should remain vigilant and call 911 to report any possible distress situations.

Coast Guard duty personnel will not be affected by the exercise, and will be available to respond to any emergent or ongoing search and rescue cases.

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