Proceedings Of The Marine

FALL 2011

Proceedings magazine is a communication tool for the Coast Guard's Marine Safety & Security Council. Each quarterly magazine focuses on a specific theme of interest to the marine industry.

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10 Mass Rescue Operation Realities by MR. GEORGE "ROB" LEE 3DVVHQJHU 9HVVHO 6DIHW\ 6SHFLDOLVW 8 6 &RDVW *XDUG (OHYHQWK 'LVWULFW MR. RICK JANELLE 3DVVHQJHU 9HVVHO 6DIHW\ 6SHFLDOLVW 8 6 &RDVW *XDUG 6HYHQWHHQWK 'LVWULFW Adventure cruises now sail to the Arctic, Antarc- tic, and other remote corners of the seas. In 2010, the cruise ship &OLSSHU $GYHQWXUHU grounded in the high Arctic with approximately 200 passengers and crew. It took two days for the nearest Canadian Coast Guard rescue vessel to arrive on scene.1 Ferry vessels, day The International Maritime Organization defines a mass rescue operation as "a civil search and rescue activity characterized by the need for immediate assistance to a large number of persons in distress, such that the capabilities normally avail- able to search and rescue authorities are inadequate." tour operations, dinner cruises, offshore gaming ves- sels, commer- cial f reight- HUV DQG ÀVKLQJ industry vessels have also grown in numbe r, size, and geo- graphic area of operation. This may result in a greater number of mass rescue operations in ever-more iso- lated regions. Each mass rescue operation (or MRO) is unique, depending on the type of craft or structure involved, number and condition of victims, location, weather, available response assets, capabilities of the crew and ownership, and other contributing factors. Although all MROs share common "operational realities," for our purposes, we will focus on mass rescue opera- tions that involve vessels or that occur in water. 1 10 Operational Realities 0DVV UHVFXH RSHUDWLRQV DUH QRW FRQÀQHG WR D VLQ- JOH RUJDQL]DWLRQ RU WR VWULFWO\ VHDUFK DQG UHVFXH IXQFWLRQV By their very nature, mass rescue operations involve many partners — local, state, regional, or international responders must work together, beginning with the search and rescue (SAR) operation, and for support functions including: • PHGLFDO DWWHQWLRQ • YLFWLP VKHOWHU DQG VXSSRUW • WUDQVSRUWDWLRQ • VHFXULW\ • SROOXWLRQ PLWLJDWLRQ • VDOYDJH • LQYHVWLJDWLRQ Agencies involved may include the lead SAR agency, ship personnel, ship owners, "Good Samaritan" ves- VHOV SRUW FRPPXQLW\ RIÀFLDOV DJHQWV WKH 1DWLRQDO Transportation Safety Board, Customs and Border 3URWHFWLRQ ORFDO ÀUH DQG SROLFH GHSDUWPHQWV SXEOLF KHDOWK RIÀFLDOV KRVSLWDOV PHGLD WUDQVSRUWDWLRQ FRP- panies, and various non-government organizations. 7R DYRLG GXSOLFDWLRQ RI HIIRUW RU FRQÁLFWV PDVV UHVFXH operation plans must dovetail with the emergency SODQV RI HDFK VLJQLÀFDQW UHVSRQVH SDUWQHU Practical Tip 'HYHORS DQ LQFLGHQW EULHÀQJ GRFXPHQW WKDW LQFOXGHV DQ RUJDQL]DWLRQ FKDUW DQG LGHQWLÀHV NH\ IDFLOLW\ ORFD- tions including command post, landing sites, and reception centers. 28 Proceedings Fall 2011 www.uscg.mil/proceedings Coast Guard

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