Coast Guard, Virginia Port Authority conclude 5th annual search and rescue forum

HAMPTON, Va. - Crewmembers from the Norfolk Fire Department recover a dummy that was deployed during the 5th annual search and rescue forum at Hampton March 4, 2011. After notifying mariners, coordinators of the forum simulated a search and rescue by placing objects like coolers, life jackets, life rafts, life rings, and dummies in four locations between the Monitor Merrimac Memorial Bridge Tunnel and the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel for participants to search for. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer David R. Marin.

USCG photo by Petty Officer David R. Marin.

HAMPTON, Va. — The Coast Guard, Virginia Port Authority, Coast Guard Auxiliary, state and local law enforcement agencies and first responders concluded the five-day-long forum that included, marine search and rescue training, exercises and classroom discussion here, Friday.

Thursday, the forum included crewmembers from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., who discussed procedures for hoisting to a helicopter during rescue operations. The discussion also touched on issues that could occur and how to avoid or overcome them during dangerous and difficult rescues.

After the aircrew’s discussion with forum participants they held a search and rescue demonstration hoisting their rescue swimmer to and from a Coast Guard 41-foot utility boat. The swimmer also jumped into the water to recover a dummy and was hoisted back up to the HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter. (video below)

Friday coordinators of the forum threw life rafts, life rings, dummies and other objects into the water in four different locations between the Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel and the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel to simulate search and rescue scenarios.

Agencies and organizations which attended the forum include: Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads, Coast Guard Station Little Creek, Coast Guard Station Portsmouth, Coast Guard Station Milford Haven, Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, Coast Guard Auxiliary, Virginia Port Authority, and Virginia Game and Inland Fisheries. Fire and police agencies from throughout Virginia and Maryland also attended.

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