The St Helena Sea Rescue Service along with the Dive Club Recovery Service and members of the Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) Unit held a joint exercise to test skills learnt in previous training sessions in relation to victim recovery on Wednesday, 5 June 2019.
A life-like training manikin was sunk in the Lemon Valley area the day before in preparation for the exercise, with various props used to simulate foul play.
The Sea Rescue team used their two RIB vessels to transport all involved to the scene. On arrival, all were briefed on the situation and teams were tasked to carry out a search to recover the body of the so called reported victim.
The objective of this exercise was mainly for all parties to practice ways in which to recover a victim safely and efficiently and most importantly to preserve evidence within a difficult environment. It was also important to test current work procedures and processes in relation to working together on board the two inshore RIBs with divers and their kit, plus Sea Rescue crew and CSI staff.
On completion of the exercise, a hot debrief was held in order to identify areas that could be improved and done differently on the next exercise, in preparation for a real event. Overall, all parties were satisfied but agreed that more training sessions are needed to develop and perfect the current skill set.
Crime Scene Investigator, Sergeant Michelle Thomas Lawrence, said:
“These training exercises help us to prepare forensically for the eventuality of a real dive recovery operation. By having the Sea Rescue and Dive Club Recovery teams on board and knowing what is required, it not only helps us (CSIs) to do our jobs better but it enables the whole exercise to run more smoothly.
“Further training sessions are planned in the near future as this allows us to continually learn and practice should a real incident occur, as well as help us all understand each other’s abilities and roles.”
Dive Club Secretary, Samantha Cherrett, added:
“These joint exercises that the St Helena Dive Club Recovery Service and Sea Rescue Service hold are invaluable sessions for identifying the best way for both teams to work together during a real incident. Each exercise helps identify potential problems to mitigate against, so that in the event of a real incident, we can act swiftly and efficiently. The Dive Club would like to thank the Sea Rescue team for taking the time to hold these training exercises.”
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25 June 2019