15 March, 2010

Marine Rescue Helicopter Training

The Southcare helicopter requires of their paramedics undergo highwire training from the water and vessel to the helicopter. Batemans Bay Marine Rescue willingly provided a platform for this training. When I have been involved in the past it has convinced me that I do not want to be in a position to be plucked from the sea by a thin wire from a helicopter. 060.JPG

We are required to steam 20 degrees off the wind at about 8 to 12 knots so the helicopter can hover above us on our port side.  If anything goes wrong the helicopter will swing over to the port side to ditch.
The parametric have to prepare themselves in our vessel then as the wire is lowered they connect and indicate that they are ready to be lifted.  If all goes well they rise up from our deck BUT if there is a swell then we go up and down and the helicopter hovers above.  The wire gets tight and the winch man has to let some go then when everyone is ready up they go.
The noise is ear splitting and the spray too great to see without goggles.  The whole process is a good exercise and a warning not to get into a situation that you will need the high wire.
To watch the exercise and my trip down the coast click on youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJ1-bwKfrt8

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