With a view of enhancing effectiveness of search and rescue operations in the area of responsibility of Ukraine, optimization of interaction among state bodies operating at sea, on 29 of July 2015 combined exercise on search and rescue of people in distress at sea had been conducted according to the Plan elaborated by Marine Search and Rescue Service (MSRS).
In the scheme of the exercise water entry had been discovered in the engine-room of the cargo ship “Lamara” after her leaving port station of Bugaz. After vain actions had been taken to stop water intake the Master made a decision for the crew to abandon the ship on life rafts. In the process of abandonment of the ship a crew member got serious injury.
State Maritime Rescue Coordination Center of Odessa received a prearranged signal of distress from board of the ship.
Captain-coordinator on duty instructed to prepare search and rescue speed boats “«ПРК-01» and «ПРК-03» for urgent sailing. Within the framework of interaction exercising Odessa unit of Sea Guard of State Border Guard Service of Ukraine, Commanding Center of the Navy of Ukraine and dispatch traffic services of ports of Odessa, Illichevsk, Belgorod Dnestrovskiy were informed.
In addition to speed boats of MSRS a speed boat of Odessa unit of Sea Guard and a helicopter of marine aviation of the Navy of Ukraine actually participated in the combined search and rescue operation.
Thanks to well-coordinated actions of the participants the life raft with the simulated injured crewman was located and towed by speed boat of MSRS to the nearest port. The simulated injured crewman was administered first medical aid.
The crew of helicopter on duty and members of para borne group had worked through methods of recovering people in distress from water on board of a helicopter and their transportation to the nearest medical centers.
The second phase of the exercise was testing of preparedness of port waterborne platforms on duty to participate in wide-ranging rescue operations.
The exercise has went off at high level with full and of high quality working through the Plan of Exercise.
All participants of the combined search and rescue drill operation expressed their interest in further cooperation and interaction improvement with the view of enhancing staff expertize.
The participants also noted that drawing up the National Plan of Search and Rescue at Sea is of current importance.