Sea Rescue crew arrived at Acher Aviation at lunch time on Saturday to attend a briefing on the helicopter, hoist procedures, and the training exercises planned for the day.
The first exercise was to transfer NSRI crew by helicopter winching from the big rescue boat to the small boat and back.
The second exercise was to transfer a crewman with patient from one boat to another, and then the third exercise was to simulate a rescue of a person in distress in the sea.
The entire exercise took place opposite Naval Island to allow any spectators who were willing to brave the weather a chance to see what we were doing.
Four rescuers were transferred by hoist from the big boat to the small one and back, whilst both boats were moving at various speeds. This was then repeated with a casualty each. After the successful completion of this phase, two persons were dropped into the water to simulate the water rescue.
The helicopter lowered the hoist and the rescue swimmer then put the casualty into the strop. They were both then lifted out of the water and transferred to the rescue boat.
This phase was also successfully completed and a total of sixteen hoists were done for this training session.
During the above mentioned exercises the NSRI made use of a harness type hoist strop. The advantage of this harness type strop is that it allows the rescuers to perform tasks above their heads. It places the patient directly in front of the rescuer at the correct level to maintain eye contact and to be able to continue working on the patient whilst being hoisted from the water and transferred to the rescue boat.
Exercises like these are crucial to maintain skill levels.
Our station would like to extend a big thank-you to TNPA for the use of their helicopter for the exercise and to the staff of Acher Aviation for their time and professionalism in training our crew.