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July 19th, 2013
July 19th, 2013

District 2 SAREX 2013

CCGA - C&A District 2 held the 2013 Regional SAR Exercise for Lake Ontario on Saturday, May 25th and Lake Erie, Sunday, May 26th.

The Lake Ontario Exercise included four CCGA vessels; TOWARF, Hamilton Beach and two from GAMARU. CCG Cutter Cape Storm was OSC. Four Naval Reservists from the HMS York were also in attendance to observe the exercise.

Lake Erie included five CCGA vessels; Southwind III, Sandman and two vessels from POCOMAR. Dirt Water Kit was scheduled to join, unfortunately they experienced a mechanical issue that required them to RTB. CCG Thunder Cape provided OSC for the Port Colborne and the Long Point IRB participated with Southwind in Port Dover.

CASARA Unit 11, CARES Niagara participated on both days with two aircraft, PJO TES.

424 (TIGER) Search and Rescue Squadron out of Trenton provided additional air support with, a Lockheed CC-130H Hercules - TIGER 407 and, a Bell CH-146 Griffon Helicopter - TIGER 419.

The scenario for both days was an overdue vessel with an unknown number of people on board.

Each CCGA vessel deployed debris fields in the morning for the CASARA aircrews to practice their spotting techniques.  The two Cutters and IRB deployed PFDīs within the search areas for each of the CCGA vessels to locate while carrying out a Parallel Search. A medical scenario was attached to each PFD and the Crews practiced PIW recovery using mannequins and completed the medical upon finding their respective targets.

A Coordinated Search between CASARA and the CCGA was completed with Hamilton Beach providing the search target vessel on both days. Upon sighting the scenario vessel, TIGER 407 was brought in to deploy four SKADīs.

TIGER 419 was then brought on scene and two SAR Techīs and a litter were deployed onto the deck of each Cutter for the CCGA Crews to observe.  In addition, on Saturday the Lake Ontario group had two TIGER 419 SAR Techīs dropped in the water and TOWARF and GAMARU vessels brought them on board.  They reentered the water and then were lifted back on to 419.  On Sunday, two TIGER 407 SAR Techīs parachuted to the target vesselīs stern and were then recovered from the water by TIGER 419. The CCGAīs crews completed the recovery of the four SKADs and the parachute gear of the two SAR Techīs on Sunday.

This yearīs exercise was a great opportunity to experience an interagency event and was very successful and rewarding for the forty members who participated.


Paul Hebbel
DTC, District 2



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