Navy, Sattahip authorities run marine-rescue drills

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Navy and local-government officials boned up on their marine-rescue skills with drills off Sattahip.

Vice Adm. Susheep Hwangmaitree opened the Nov. 26 exercise about five miles off the Sattahip Naval Base. Royal Thai Navy Region 1 Deputy Chief of Staff Samrueng Jansoe led forces from the military and local law enforcement in the mock scenario.

The scene was set on a fishing boat where a crewmember was in distress. A helicopter was used to locate the vessel, radioing its position to Patrol Boat 15.

Rubber boats were sent with divers aboard to secure the scene. It was determined the crewman was unconscious, so he was brought up to the helicopter to be flown to the nearest hospital.

The Royal Thai Navy practices rescuing an unconscious fisherman by airlifting him via helicopter.The Royal Thai Navy practices rescuing an unconscious fisherman by airlifting him via helicopter.

Samrueng said it is the navy’s responsibility not only to guard the coast, capture tax evaders and drug runners, and guard against human traffickers, but to render assistance to boats and sailors in distress.

Marine-rescue operations, she said, are one of the most-important missions of the navy and require 24-hour readiness. Hence frequent drills are necessary.