Cutter Grand Isle visits Lunenburg, Nova Scotia to Train with the Canadian Coast Guard

During a recent visit to Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Grand Isle trained with the Canadian Coast Guard and Air Force to practice a joint-agency response to simulated search and rescue scenarios.

The Canadian Coast Guard simulated a capsized vessel, with people in distress by placing three people in the water with an overturned boat. After the people and overturned vessel were in position, a Canadian Coast Guard boat crew performed the rescue by pulling alongside and taking the people out of the water.

“This training was different from our own in that they used people during their training exercise instead of life-sized dummies,” said Lt. Brooke Millard, commanding officer of the Coast Guard Cutter Grand Isle.

With the U.S./Canadian border in the First Coast Guard District, this training anticipates a scenario where an emergency would call for cooperation between the two services.

“It was a great experience to conduct search and rescue training with the Canadians,” said Millard. “Seeing how they conduct their search and rescue operations helps us prepare for a joint-search and rescue scenario where the U.S. and Canadian Coast Guard will work together to save lives.”

After the Canadian boatcrews conducted search and rescue exercise, the Grand Isle crew worked with the Canadian Air Force to practice airlift operations from the cutter’s deck.

The Canadian helicopter lowered three rescue swimmers to the ship’s deck throughout the exercise. The swimmers were lowered to the deck of the Grand Isle, and then hoisted back into the helicopter.

After the training exercise was complete, the Grand Isle crew was able to enjoy the local culture and enjoy a continuing relationship with the people of Lunenburg before returning to Gloucester on Monday, Sept. 14.

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