Search and Rescue Pilots fly through Maritime Training Drill

More than 20 search and rescue helicopter operators were put through their paces this week at a training workshop hosted by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority and held at the Australian Maritime College.

AMSA is the national search and rescue authority and regularly tasks helicopter operators from across Australia to assist in search and rescue incidents at sea or on land. One of the aims of the workshop was to enhance the knowledge and skills of rescue helicopter operators in the maritime environment.

AMSA Acting Manager, SAR Resources and Training, Mike Wytcherley said participants included personnel from government, community, military and commercial helicopter operators from across Australia, as well as a representative from Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand.

“It’s common for AMSA to task helicopters to undertake a medical evacuation from a ship, rescue people from a capsized or broken down vessel or be involved in other search activities,” he said.

“The workshop included a session on a simulated ship bridge to give participants the chance to learn more about ship operations, as well as winching and landing considerations. Participants were also taken through helicopter rescue equipment exercises in the AMC pool, including demonstrations on the use of retrieval equipment in search and rescue operations, and exposed to survival training for mariners and hazards for the survivor at sea.”

The workshop was organised through AMCS and was conducted using AMC’s specialist training facilities including the Centre for Maritime Simulations and the Survival Centre.

This was the first time a workshop of this kind has been held by AMSA and it is envisaged it will become an annual event.