Multi-agency beach rescue exercise held off South Padre Island, Texas

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SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas — More than 50 people from three response agencies simulated a joint agency response to an incident involving 12 people off popular South Padre Island beaches Wednesday.

The Coast Guard, City of South Padre Island Beach Rescue and Cameron County Beach Rescue joined together in the Beach Rescue Interagency Team Exercise, or BRITE, to evaluate communication and coordination between the agencies as they managed recovery, triage and transportation for all the victims at one time.

More than 50 people in three agencies respond to a mock disaster off popular South Padre Island beaches in an attempt to save the 12 volunteers Aug. 28, 2013. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

More than 50 people in three agencies respond to a mock disaster off popular South Padre Island beaches in an attempt to save the 12 volunteers Aug. 28, 2013. U.S. Coast Guard photo

“This exercise was a collaborative effort between the Coast Guard, the City of South Padre, and Cameron County to partner in a training environment and identify best practices, as well as highlight aspects of our response that we can improve,” said Lt. Josh Sagers, the commanding officer of Coast Guard Station South Padre Island.

A flight crew from Coast Guard Air Station Corpus Christi responded to the drill, providing fast medevac response for victims recovered from the water by the responding Coast Guard rescue boat. Victims recovered from the water by Beach Rescue Lifeguards were assessed on the beach and transferred to waiting EMS.

“The tremendous level of participation in this exercise underscores our commitment to improving public safety in the waters of these beaches,” said Sagers.

The City of South Padre Island Beach Rescue was started in 2008 and Cameron County Beach Rescue followed in 2012.

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