HONOLULU — Coast Guard, Honolulu Ocean Safety and Emergency Medical Service crews took advantage of high surf conditions off of Haleiwa Ali’i Beach Park to practice an interagency response to an individual in distress Friday.
Two MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crews from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point deployed two rescue swimmers into the surf zone to simulate an individual in distress. Ocean Safety crews practiced maneuvering jet skis through the surf zone to rescue the individual. The surf break Avalanche was chosen for the exercise and presented challenging surf and current conditions to test the skill and stamina of first responders.
The exercise was another step in developing the partnership between the Coast Guard and local first responders. Memorandums of agreement were recently put in place across the state of Hawaii, which outline cooperation between the Coast Guard and state first responders.
Hawaii’s maritime environment presents numerous challenges for rescuers. High surf, rip currents and weather are just a few aspects that make an on-water rescue difficult. Coordinated multiagency responses allow unique resources and skills from each agency to be combined for a more effective rescue.
The Coast Guard recommends all ocean goers check local weather conditions before heading out and to know their limits.