by Ken McManus
Volunteers from Marine Rescue Alpine Lakes will take part in a marine search and rescue training exercise at Jindabyne this weekend (February 9 and 10).
Alpine Lakes volunteer will undergo training to further enhance marine rescuing skills
Up to 40 personnel from 11 agencies will take part in the two-day exercise, which will culminate in two search operations to locate and retrieve rescue dummies dropped in Lake Jindabyne.
Deputy Commissioner Heinz Mueller said multi-agency training exercises were held throughout each year to hone rescue teams’ marine search skills and bolster rescue capability.
'This exercise is a great opportunity to introduce other emergency services in the local Alpine region to Marine Rescue NSW members, vessels, equipment, search planning and operations,' he said.
'Alpine Lakes is the first MRNSW unit on inland waters. This exercise, part of the unit’s intensive training program this year, will be the members’ first joint training operation with their colleagues from other emergency services and relevant agencies.
'Arrangements are in place to allow rescue agencies to work seamlessly on the smooth and efficient coordination of a rescue operation, providing the optimal chance of finding someone in trouble in the water quickly and safely.
'This is particularly important on the Alpine Lakes, where hypothermia can set in rapidly once someone is in the water, causing serious injury or even death within a very short timeframe.
'This exercise is designed to test that all agencies, including our members, are familiar with their roles and responsibilities in the event of an emergency on the lakes.'
Other agencies taking part in the exercise, coordinated by the Local Emergency Operations Controller, are the NSW Police Force, State Emergency Service, NSW Ambulance Service, Fire and Rescue NSW, Rural Fire Service, Snowy River Shire Council, NSW Fisheries, Roads and Maritime Services, National Parks and Wildlife Service and Moruya Westpac Rescue Helicopter.
The first day of the exercise involves lectures and workshops to review marine/inland waterways search and rescue roles and responsibilities and search planning, patterns and techniques.
On day two, crews will take to Lake Jindabyne for the two practical search and rescue exercises to locate the realistic search targets