Interagency mass rescue exercise to take place on Kauai Friday

Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Gerczak file photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Matthew West

Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Gerczak file photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Matthew West

HONOLULU — The Coast Guard, Kauai Fire Department, HDOT Airports Division, HDOT Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting Section, Ocean Safety and Lifeguard Services, Kauai Police Department, American Medical Response, and Wilcox Medical Center are scheduled to conduct a full-scale mass rescue exercise Friday, April 26, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The exercise will take place on the water, and in the air, off Hanamaulu Bay near Hanamaulu Beach Park and Ahukini Recreational Pier State Park with Coast Guard and local agencies working together to test and evaluate interagency communications, response plans, and responders’ actions during a simulated exercise involving a downed commercial airliner.

Access will be limited to the Hanamaulu Beach Park and Ahukini Recreational Pier State Park to facilitate operations, injury and medical response simulations. From 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. a portion of Ahukini Road will be one lane, and the recreational pier will be closed to the public for the duration of the exercise.

During the search and rescue exercise, multiple agencies’ assets will be launched including the use of Coast Guard members and local pre-identified volunteers to simulate passengers in distress. The general public is asked to keep a sharp lookout if in the area and not to interfere or attempt to assist the training exercise.

Assets and crews are expected to include:

  • 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew from Coast Guard Station Kauai
  • MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Barber’s Point
  • Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Gerczak (WPC 1126)
  • Rescue Company and Air 1 helicopter from the Kauai Fire Department
  • Jet-Ski operators from Ocean Safety
  • Ambulance crew on standby from AMR
  • Medical personnel from the Department of Health and Wilcox Medical Center

The exercise is being conducted to evaluate notification and response procedures between first responders and to identify shortfalls in communication and coordination of response during search and rescue (SAR) incidents. Each agency holds unique capabilities that complement each other’s efforts and bolsters the overall success of the SAR system.

Coast Guard duty personnel and Kauai emergency responders will not be affected by the exercise and will be available to respond to any on-going and emergency search and rescue cases.

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