CHARLESTON, SC – The Coast Guard worked with a number of other Lowcountry agencies to test their skills Wednesday morning.
Not too far from Castle Pinkney about 20 boats were in the water, and a Coast Guard helicopter was just above the water to help 23 organizations train. Coast Guard Sector Charleston Captain Gary Tomasulo tells News 2, “It’s a multi-agency search and rescue exercise, where the number of people in distress basically exceeds our capability.”
During the training, they simulated simulation 90 people on a boat striking a submerged object. Eight search and rescue manikins were tossed overboard and rescued from the water.
A number of individuals, like Sean Shrum were rescued. “They did the mass rescue of people off the boat. They had some Oscars, dummy’s that were in the water to simulate people in the water, and what they did is they just took turns with the boats and just took us off the boat and back to the staging area.”
They are training so that if you or your loved one is stranded, they will know how to take effective action.
Captain Tomasulo said, “This is something actually the Coast Guard and the government tries to do in every community. It’s what I would expect that the community expects as taxpayers. They want their federal, state and local agencies to work together.”
They spent about 6 months preparing for the exercise, and they try to hold similar exercises annually. 150 people from government and private industry were involved.