Flint Coastguard Rescue Team called out to rescue passengers from a sinking plane – in River Mersey exercise
Members of Flint Coastguard Rescue Team sprung into action this morning to rescue 10 people on board a sinking plane in the River Mersey.
The rescue though was part of a large scale training exercise coordinated by the Maritime & Coastguard Agency.
The exercise named ‘Neptune 2’ put emergency services through their paces with a simulated air crash in the Mersey after a pilot is taken ill while on the approach to Liverpool’s John Lennon airport.
[miptheme_quote author=”Danny Jamson, senior coastal operations officer for HM Coastguard (the search and rescue arm of the Maritime & Coastguard Agency)” style=”text-left”]We’re training for the day we hope will never come but we need to make sure that if the worst happens, we can operate search and rescue in a way that will increase the chances of saving lives in an emergency.[/miptheme_quote]
Emergency services from HM Coastguard Flint and Crosby along with Merseyside Fire & Rescue service, Liverpool Airport Rescue and Firefighting Service, North West Ambulance Service and the RNLI all were quickly sent in response in a race to rescue the ten people on board.
Caernarfon based HM Coastguard’s search and rescue helicopter was involved in a winching exercise from a Royal Navy ship.
The aim of the exercise was to look at how each organisation responds, how they work together and what lessons can be learned.
Team Leader Marine, Ian Kay, from Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service, said:
‘This is an incident we hope we’ll never see – but we must prepare for different kinds of emergencies.
‘The best way to test our response is to run a training exercise from which we can learn. By taking part in this exercise, we can build experience and gather knowledge which could be put to effective use in a real emergency response.
‘This prepares Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service as an agency while giving us the opportunity to work alongside partners, developing constructive ways of working together.
‘Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service plays an integral role in this type of incident because of our ability to provide an immediate specialist response.
Our Marine Rescue Unit, Search and Rescue Team and Fire Crews provide 24/7 cover to incidents both on the river and on land.’
Neil Gyllenship, Fire Service Manager for Liverpool John Lennon Airport said:
‘Unlike most other UK airports, Liverpool has the advantage of being located adjacent to a wide estuary which helps to minimise the environmental and noise impacts of an airport on local communities, however this can also bring challenges in the event of an emergency situation.
‘A river response is already incorporated into all our emergency procedures but an exercise like this is invaluable in testing and improving upon those plans in place.’
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