TRAINING DAYS: Coast Guard protects waters

Coast Guard pic1

These action-packed scenes depict the extensive training of the United States Coast Guard in collaboration with the Beach Patrol and the South Padre Island Fire Department to sharpen skills. (Staff photos by Scarlet O'Rourke)

Staff Writer

Coast Guard pic2Imagine a lovely day out in the water, the coast to the right, open ocean to the left, and another boat bearing straight ahead, colliding and sending people in all directions.

In such a scenario, it would be good to know that there are people trained to handle such an emergency.

On Wednesday, June 1, the US Coast Guard collaborated with the Beach Patrol and the South Padre Island Fire Department to train and sharpen the skills of all three departments of public service and protection.

The Coast Guard sent out a 55 ft. vessel to set up the scenario.

Five volunteers from the coast guard unit and life guards were set afloat near Isla Blanca Park, two closer to shore, three beyond the jetties.

The boat was then positioned between the two sets of floaters and flairs were lit. A selection of crew members played the roles of injured passengers. An “emergency” call was sent and the coast guard and beach patrol set out to work.

The people in the water were “rescued and triaged” first. Near shore, the Beach patrol came out on boards and jet skis to pick up the two floaters. Farther out, the Coast Guard sent a 33 ft. craft to pick up the other three role players.

For more on this story, pick up a copy of the June 2 edition of the Port Isabel South Padre Press or check out our E-edition by clicking here.

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1 comment

    • Dave on June 3, 2011 at 12:49 pm
    • Reply

    I saw the drill. It went well with all departments. Having well trained professionals such as these men and women turns what could be a disaster into a successful rescue. Way to go!

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