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PIA Press Release

Maritime group leads drill on water, air and land search and rescue operations

by MA Loterte

Legazpi City (24 September) -- Disaster managers in Bicol region are in full force to test disaster response capabilities as a Water Search and Rescue Drill (WASAR) is set on Friday at the coastal waters of this city, an officer of the Philippine Navy (PN) in Bicol said.

Ensign Denver Ramon, Naval Forces Southern Luzon (Navforsol) spokesman, said the disaster preparedness and response drill would put to test various maritime groups in land, sea, and air disaster search and rescue operation.

The activity aims to gauge the preparedness of rescuers of different agencies in the advent of sea disasters as well as develop their interoperability to carry out an efficient and successful search and rescue operations. Rescuers will also display to Bicolanos their capability in responding sea mishaps.

Ramon averred the exercise will train participants on rescue at sea, and provide opportunity to train Naval Special Operations Unit personnel on some aspect of special rescue operations such as Helo-cast.

"The drill will involve the use of two Cessna planes, two Huey helicopters, six rubber boats, a Navy Patrol gun boat, an ambulance and a fire truck," added Ramon.

Ramon furthered the search and rescue drill would involve 68 personnel from the PN, Philippine Air Force Tactical Operations Group (PAF-TOG), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), PNP Maritime, Albay Health Emergency Management (AHEM), and the Bureau Fire Protection (BFP), Office of Civil Defense (OCD), Maritime Polytechnic College Foundation, and the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA).

The drill highlights the observance of the National Maritime Week Celebration on September 20-26 and pre-anniversary activities of Navforsol's 8th Foundation Day on October 4 2010.

Navforsol's, in partnership with maritime agencies, will spearhead the joint capability demonstration on WASAR along Embarcadero waters here. (PIA V) [top]

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