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Marine exercises put lookouts to the test
The RNLI came to the aid of the Lyme Bay National Coastwatch Institution – to help look-outs complete a simulated marine incident exercise.
The Lyme Regis inshore life-boat and harbourmaster helped the NCI team set up and monitor four scenarios at sea involving an injured crew member on a boat, a boat with engine failure, a swimmer in difficulty and a man overboard.
NCI station manager Clive Edwards said that for their Declared Facility Status (DFS) assessment all NCI lookouts are required to arrange a simulated marine incident exercise.
It is held to demonstrate to an appointed NCI assessor that they are competent to give the Coastguard a reliable visual assessment of the incident and communicate with the rescue services by radio to direct them safely to the incident with a minimum of delay.
Mr Edwards said: “Initial unscripted radio communication problems put pressure on those involved to resolve the situation, similar to one which could arise in a real situation.
“The fact that all participants responded very effectively was to the credit of all concerned.
“This was the first time such an exercise had been conducted from the NCI Lookout and was extremely good training for the four watchkeepers who took it in turn to take charge of the incidents.
“Considering that this was the first time they had been confronted with such a situation, all four responded admirably.
“The value of this type of exercise cannot be over-stated and plans are afoot to run similar exercises at regular intervals – weather permitting – from now on.”
Four emergency incident scenarios were devised by the NCI assisted by the Lyme Regis harbourmaster Grahame Forshaw.
They set up four incident scenarios at sea, involving an injured crew member on a boat, a boat engine failure, a swimmer in difficulty, and a man overboard.