Major search and rescue exercise will save lives - The Community Leader and Real Estate New and Views

Coast Guard and Marine Rescue Volunteers assemble at Water Police HQ for the SAR. Photo: Supplied.


Brisbane Water Police ran a major Search and Rescue (SAR) exercise in Moreton Bay recently, using new software.

The ‘target’ was a theoretical light aircraft crash outside the Port, with passengers reported in the water.

Water Police immediately tasked a dozen Coast Guard and Volunteer Marine Rescue (VMR) boats from all over Moreton Bay and the Redlands, plus several Water Police vessels, to rush to the area and search for survivors.

The search was controlled by Maritime SAR Coordinator Sergeant Caffery from the Whyte Island Water Police headquarters, assisted by Senior Constable Fox and other officers, using new software installed by Furuno Australia. Sergeant Caffery’s team was joined by volunteers from Coast Guard, VMR and the new Marine Rescue Queensland organisation, who were keen to observe the new software in action.

Within 20 minutes of the SAR being initiated, Sergeant Caffery and his team had rescue vessels at the location of the crash, and began employing them into a line search. Water Police initially used their SARMAP Water Modelling Software to reveal where tides and currents in the area would move survivors and wreckage from the crash site. They then added the new TimeZero Fleet software to the picture on their big screen. This showed where vessels in the search fleet should position themselves for best results. That picture was then transmitted to all vessels engaged in the SAR.

The effect was a near-perfect coverage of the search area, which would have resulted in a quick recovery of all survivors.

Water Police and Coast Guard volunteers were very happy with the results of this major exercise, which will result in lives saved next time there’s a real SAR.

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