Coast Guard, Marines & Navy join forces for rescue drill in Kane - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Coast Guard, Marines & Navy join forces for rescue drill in Kaneohe Bay

Paul Anslow Paul Anslow
Major Richard Todd Slack Major Richard Todd Slack
By Oscar Valenzuela - bio | email
KANEOHE (HawaiiNewsNow) - An emergency flare signaled for help near Chinaman's Hat calling for Navy and Coast Guard Crews to rescue two marines floating  helplessly in the bay.
Paul Anslow, Director of Safety MCAS, calls out reassurance, "This is a drill, this is a drill, this is a drill."
The rescue was part of a simulated helicopter crash involving a Marine Corps CH-53 Delta.  Crews from the Marine Aircraft Group Two-Four, Navy Waterfront Ops and the Coast Guard participated in the exercise in order to evaluate response procedures.
Anslow explains, "Anyone that's in danger out here, that someone on the base sees or local community sees, we worked on that coordination to get that rescue as fast and as safe as we could."
To keep the drill as real to life as possible, the coordinators added in the element of surprise.
Those duty officers were kept in the dark by having the helicopter pilots land their aircraft in an undisclosed location.  This set the response teams into motion.
The safety boat then headed out into the middle of Kaneohe Bay and dropped two Marines into the water…  This started the simulated rescue operations.  The first call initiated the Coast Guard rescue helicopter which quickly located and extracted the Marine by basket. 
The second was done by waterborne craft.  The rescue crews had only given a general location and had to find the subjects by sight.  Once located, the second distressed victim was pulled aboard the boat.
The simulation was accomplished within minutes and the coordinated effort seemed to go off without a hitch.  The joint operations drill will be done annually to keep their teams sharp and at the ready at all times.
Anslow adds, "It's just something that, God forbid it ever happens, we practice it and it goes smoothly each time."

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