One of the real possibilities a boater may see is an injury to a passenger or crew member which requires a helicopter evacuation. The USCG has released a video showing an evacuation from an offshore sport fisher who had an injured person aboard. The nature of the injury required helicopter evacuation and transportation to a shoreside hospital. Click here to be connected to the rescue footage.
This is a great opportunity to see what is necessary from both the boat operator and the CG to make the pickup work. Some things to note:
- The lowered basket cable needs to touch the water before anyone touches the basket or cable. (The lowering cable has a static electricity buildup.)
- The boat needs to maintain a constant speed and course.
- The helicopter will approach and work from the port quarter.
- The boat needs to clear all items from the deck to prevent an updraft from the helicopter from sending items into the rotor blades. This includes hats on the boat crew.
- The boat needs only essential personnel on deck. All others should be safely out of the way.
While no one wants this to happen on their boat, it can. Knowing what to do before it happens will help with preparing for it when it does happen.
Have a safe boating weekend!
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