Thursday, September 23, 2010

Water, air and land search and rescue operation launch in Bicol

LEGAZPI CITY, Sept. 21 (PNA) -- At the onset of the La Nina phenomenon or wet spell disaster authorities here coming in full force are set to test their disaster response capabilities as they will launch a Water Search and Rescue Drill (WASAR) on Friday at the coastal waters of this city, a naval officer of the Philippine Navy in Bicol said.

Ensign Denver Ramon, PN Naval Forces Southern Luzon spokesman, said the disaster scenario drill would put to test various maritime group in land sea and air disaster search and rescue operation.

Ramon said the exercise aims to train the participants on rescue at sea, and shall also be taken as opportunity to train Naval Special Operations Unit personnel on some aspect of Special Operations such as Helo-cast operations.

The land sea and air operation would involve the use of two Cessna planes, two Huey helicopters, six rubber boats, a Navy Patrol gun boat, an ambulance and a fire truck.

Ramon said the search and rescue drill would involve 68 personnel from the PN, Philippine Air Force (PAF-TOG5), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), PNP Maritime, Albay Health Emergency Management (AHEM), and the Bureau Fire Protection (BFP), Office of Civil Defense (OCD), Maritime Polytechnic College Foundation, and the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA).

The disaster drill is in observance with the Naval Forces Southern Luzon's 8th Year Foundation Anniversary on October 4, 2010.

As part of its Pre-Anniversary celebration and in anticipation of the observance of National Maritime Week Celebration, NAVFORSOL, in partnership with maritime agencies, will spearhead the Joint Capability Demonstration on Water Search and Rescue on Friday at Legazpi Port area near Embarcadero.

The activity aims to gauge the preparedness of rescuers of different agencies in the advent of sea disasters as well as to develop their interoperability. Rescuers will also be able to display to the Bicolanos their capability in responding to sea mishaps.(PNA)