Coast Guard and Customs work together to better skills
OPA-LOCKA, Fla. (WSVN) -- Coast Guard and Customs and Border Patrol Protection worked together Friday to hone their rescue skills in the event of an emergency.
"Customs, it allows them to feel what it's like to be a survivor in the situation so they can be better prepared," Lieutenant Adam Mullens, pilot with the U.S. Coast Guard said. "For us, it gives us the training to go out there and simulate a situation."
The training and hoist mission took place at the air station base in Opa-Locka. "We're practicing flying in there," Mullens said. "We'll locate the survivors, lower our rescue swimmer in the water, and he'll evaluate the situation. Based on the survivor's condition, he'll call for a rescue basket or rescue litter."
The rescue swimmer will then jump into action. A mission Ryan Pierce will have to endure. "Given the situation, they may put me in the water, and I'll have to swim over to somebody, or a raft or something of that nature," Pierce said. "Or they'll put me on a boat; maybe it's taking on water."
The week-long inter-agency training by land and sea with two branches of Homeland Security helps to prepare for the worst. "For the worst," Pierce said. "Say, for instance, it's like Katrina, or a severe injury or even death, or given the weather."
Agencies urge everyone to be careful and adhere to warnings to avoid any emergencies. "Usually, we get a warning with the hurricane warning and stuff," Mullens said. "It's important to pay attention to those and not be on the water. If there's a small craft advisory, a lot of times people don't heed that warning, and it becomes a rescue situation."
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