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During the month of June, the Central Fire Protection District is hosting three sessions of Marine Rescue Training at the Santa Cruz Harbor which is available to all Santa Cruz County rescue swimmers. In attendance for the June 26th training were rescue swimmers from Santa Cruz City Fire Department, Aptos/ La Selva Fire Protection District, Central Fire Protection District and also included rescue swimmers and staff from the Santa Cruz City Lifeguard Association, Santa Cruz Harbor Patrol, Vessel Assist, and the United States Coast Guard.
This month’s training was focused on educating all our local emergency response agencies who may interface with the Harbor Patrol, Vessel Assist and the USCG when called to assist with open ocean rescue or compromised vessels in distress. The training exposed certain challenges with communications, capabilities and availability depending on which resource(s) will be responding to any given event.
After the dockside presentations, members of the group boarded the vessels to experience the varying perspective from the sea and get an idea of the capabilities of each vessel. As an added scare, while boating through the area of New Brighton State Beach, the group sighted multiple great white sharks in the area. This can be an additional challenge to Marine Rescue personnel when responding to victims along our coastline.
Many Thanks go out to the staff from the Santa Cruz Harbor Master’s Office, the U.S. Coast Guard and to Captain Monte Ash from Vessel Assist who all participated in this training.