Auckland Coastguard joined with the Royal NZ Air Force, Navy and Rescue Coordination NZ in an on-water training exercise that involved two of our rescue vessels, two Navy RIBs from RNZN Phillomel Boat Section, an Orion from RNZAF 5 Squadron, a Hercules from RNZAF 40 Squadron and a Navy Seasprite helicopter from RNZAF 6 Squadron.
Scenarios included the retrieval of persons from an inflatable life-raft which was dropped from a P-3 Orion, two survivors winched up by the Navy’s Sprite helicopter, two people retrieved from a life-raft by Trillian Rescue ALPHA and the rescue of a third person, also in a life-raft, by LION Foundation Rescue.
The on-scene command was tasked to Auckland Coastguard whose volunteers coordinated with the pilots and the Navy RIBs. The exercise was overseen by members of RCCNZ, in attendance from Wellington.
Initially our boats were tasked to search an area around Rakino and Motutapu Islands. The scenario was to search for an overdue runabout. Following this, the vessels were then tasked to team up with the Airforce and Navy for the wider exercise.
The day represented an invaluable opportunity for our volunteer crew to hone their on-scene command skills especially in relation to working with other agencies.