Coast Guard, partner agencies to conduct mass rescue exercise


CHARLESTON, S.C. — The Coast Guard is scheduled to participate in a joint mass rescue exercise, Wednesday, September 30, in the vicinity of Patriot’s Point.

The purpose of the exercise is to improve coordination, communication and techniques among the participating agencies.

The exercise is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m., and end by 12 p.m. Capt. Gary Tomasulo, the captain of the port of Charleston, is scheduled to host a media question and answer period at 11:30 a.m., to discuss the exercise.

The following agencies are scheduled to participate in the exercise:

  • The Coast Guard
  • The Coast Guard Auxiliary
  • South Carolina Department of Natural Resources
  • Charleston County Sheriff’s Office
  • Charleston County Consolidated Dispatch
  • Charleston County Emergency Management Division
  • Charleston County Rescue
  • Town of Mount Pleasant Police Department
  • Town of Mount Pleasant Fire Department
  • City of Charleston Police Department
  • City of Charleston Fire Department
  • City of North Charleston Police Department
  • City of North Charleston Fire Department
  • Isle of Palms Fire Department
  • St. John’s Fire Department
  • Sullivan’s Island Fire Department
  • SpiritLine Cruises
  • American Red Cross
  • The Citadel
  • Tow Boat US
  • Sea Tow
  • Coastal Crisis Chaplaincy
  • Charleston Branch Pilots Association.

The exercise will simulate a mass rescue of persons after a boat strikes a submerged object and begins to take on water. Eight search and rescue mannequins, named “Oscar”, will be tossed overboard to simulate persons in the water.

“It is through challenging exercises like these with our local agencies that we are able to strengthen the valuable partnerships that we have,” said Lt. Cmdr. Shannon Scaff, chief of contingency planning and force readiness at Coast Guard Sector Charleston. “Whether it’s through exercises or actual events, we work closely with our partners every day throughout the area. An exercise of this magnitude gives us a very unique opportunity in a controlled environment to address areas of the Mass Rescue Plan that may need improvement. Ultimately, the idea is for all of us to come together in a unified effort to streamline our responses as a team.”


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