MARQUETTE — No matter the season, rain or shine, the coast guard and other local agencies near the shores of Superior are constantly on patrol to keep everyone safe.
Even on a bright sunny day – when everyone least expects it, trouble on the water can happen. That’s why the coast guard and local fire and rescue units have made it a priority to stay up to date on rescue techniques and procedures in order to be ready for anything.
On Monday during drills in Mattson Lower Harbor, the coast guard utilized their 1600 horse powered vessel, while fire and rescue was aboard a jetski.
ABC 10 was able to board the vessel and travel with the coast guard, and get close up details of what occurs once a victim or patient is pulled to safety. Different scenarios were played out to recreate what could happen in real life all from a victim pickup from the water, to a transport for medical attention.
“We ran through pulling someone out of the water on the back of the jetski – as a conscious and responsive person, someone able to help themselves, along with the fire department pulling them up,” said 2nd class Boatswain, Timothy Koscielny. “Then we ran through an unconscious and unresponsive person, someone where they couldn’t help themselves and the fire department had to pull them up themselves, without any assistance from the victim.”
Besides experiencing what it’s like to be involved in a rescue situation, all units are able to understand what it’s like to work together.
“We all become on the same page in how we work together, and if we didn’t do any of these types of training, when we come into a real situation, there’s going to be a lot of confusion in the way that we talk to each other, and the way that we work together,” continued Koscielny. “They wouldn’t know how to approach our boat, we wouldn’t know how to approach them, and how to assist in the rescue.”
But it’s not just today that coast guard and fire departments are brushing up on their skills. These joint efforts happen a few times a year with other local agencies; however, training continues daily.
“We practice search and rescue just about everyday, whether it’s from a towing evolution on a disabled vessel, to de-watering, to pulling people out of the water, we practice search patterns, and we practice these in different scenarios – that way when something happens, no matter what the situation is, we’ve done all these types of things – so it kind of put things in a toolbox.”
The training shown today demonstrates just how safe the shores and waters of Superior are.