Coast Guard, partner agencies to conduct SAR exercise off Oahu Tuesday

45 HonoluluHONOLULU — The Coast Guard, Honolulu Fire Department, Ocean Safety and Lifeguard Services, Honolulu Police Department and Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam’s MWR lifeguards are scheduled to conduct a search and rescue exercise in Honolulu Tuesday.

The exercise will take place on the water and in the air off Sand Island 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 missing mariner. The exercise will be conducted from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Access will be limited to the public boat ramp near the University of Hawaii marine center and part of Sand Island Beach during this time.

During the search and rescue exercise, multiple agencies’ assets will be launched, including the use of an Oscar dummy in the water. Oscar is weighted and used to simulate a person in the water. The general public is asked not to disturb Oscar if found.

Assets are expected to include: a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew from Coast Guard Station Honolulu, a helicopter crew, boat crew and ladder truck from the Honolulu Fire Department, a jet ski and standup paddle board crew from Ocean Safety and an ambulance on standby from EMS. Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam’s MWR lifeguards will also be standing by to respond should Oscar drift into their zone off the base.

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

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