Monterey federal, state and local agencies conducted a multi-agency mass rescue operation off the City of Monterey Sept. 6.
The exercise simulated a full-scale response to a reported fire onboard a crowded whale- watching vessel played by U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Hawksbill.
The response included firefighting, retrieval of simulated people in the water, medical triage and treatment of passengers.
The operation concluded with U.S. Coast Guard Station Monterey towing the simulated disabled vessel to safety.
“Periodic drills like these are critical to exercise and refine our search and rescue response plans, train and test our crews, and to maintain those relationships and communication lines between agencies so that we are always ready to respond to emergency situations in the most austere conditions” said Coast Guard Lieutenant Matthew Peryea, Commanding Officer of Station Monterey.
“The Monterey Bay Search and Rescue Council is a collaboration of government agencies that share responsibility to conduct Maritime Search and Rescue in the Monterey Bay region,” said Lieutenant Bryce Laster, Executive Officer of Station Monterey. “We meet regularly to ensure a unified response and partnership to serve and safeguard the public in the maritime environment.”
“Any event like this requires the coordination of many resources, agencies and its always good to practice those skills so that we can work together better in the event of a real emergency,” said Gaudenz Panholzer, the City of Monterey Fire Chief.
Participating federal agencies included:
- U.S. Coast Guard Station Monterey
- U.S. Coast Guard Sector San Francisco
- U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Hawksbill
- U.S. Naval Air Station Lemoore
Participating state agencies include:
- The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE)
Participating local agencies include:
- Monterey County
- Monterey Fire Department
- Seaside Fire Department