Coastguard exercise takes place in Ardrossan
EXERCISE SEAHORSE – ARDROSSAN - NORTH AYRSHIRE
Emergency services descended on Ardrossan’s North Shore on Sunday morning following reports of a boat collision and multiple casualties in the water.
Fortunately, this dramatic scene was part of a pre-planned search and rescue training exercise involving multiple rescue resources from across North Ayrshire and Inverclyde.
Coastguard Rescue Teams from Ardrossan, Cumbrae and Greenock were put through their paces alongside Largs Lifeboat in a challenging scenario which would test all personnel on a wide range of operational competencies including communication skills, land search management, critical casualty care and casualty extraction.
The scenario was initiated following a simulated Mayday call from a 41ft motor cruiser with five persons on board which had collided with an unknown object, was taking on water and those on board were abandoning ship with their last known location being just south of Seamill.
The Coastguard Rescue Teams and RNLI Lifeboat were thereafter launched to the incident with real time updates being received from directing staff who were simulating the role of the Coastguard Operations Centre.
The scenario involved five casualties being located and rescued both on land and from the water with a wide variety of serious injuries requiring to be tended to including catastrophic bleeds, head injuries, a broken pelvis as well as water-related conditions including hydrostatic shock and hypothermia.
Senior Coastal Operations Officer, Steve Muldoon, said: “This was a complex and challenging scenario which the teams faced with multiple casualties spread over a large area, including persons on shoreline, in the water and in areas only accessible by boat.
“The exercise scenarios are specifically designed to challenge all personnel involved and test the multi-agency response to a maritime incident with multiple casualties. Training in real-time with live casualties simulates similar pressures which are experienced during real incidents which provides invaluable training and learning opportunities for all involved.”
Station Officer of the Ardrossan Coastguard Rescue Team, Kevin Paterson, added: “While routine training takes places on a weekly basis, large scale exercises such as this allows for the consolidation of this training into a realistic scenario to further develop and enhance the skills and operational experiences of everyone involved.
“We are ultimately training for an incident which we hope never happens however we need to ensure that we are fully prepared should the worst happen.
“We would like to extend a massive thank you to the five simulated casualties for their assistance in making the scenario as realistic as possible and to thank the Ardrossan Sea Cadets for their assistance and participation.”
Coastguard Rescue Teams are on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to respond to persons in need at the coast and beyond.
Search and Rescue – it’s what we do.
In a coastal, beach or cliff emergency dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.
Maritime and Coastguard Agency
Greenock Coastguard Rescue Team
HM Coastguard Cumbrae