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Rescue groups hold no-borders skill-sharing training

Albany Sea Rescue joined Fremantle Marine Rescue in mock rescue operations at deadly fishing spot Salmon Holes at the weekend.

Albany Sea Rescue was the State’s first group to collaborate with the Surf Life Saving Emergency Response Team on jet skis, and this weekend shared its skills with Fremantle Marine Rescue.

The operation included the use of a drone deploying floatation devices with experienced drone operator Albany Aerial Imaging’s Brad Harkup.

Albany Sea Rescue operations co-ordinator Chris Johns said the co-ordination between his group and south coast surf lifesaving clubs from Albany and Denmark was unique.

“Jet skis aren’t meant to be a blue-water tool, but if we get around to Salmon Holes and someone is behind that reef we can’t get at them, and that is where the skis come into their own,” he said.

“We have developed our own system to utilise our assets to the best.

“We are all just first responders trying to do the same thing.

“Our system is really successful and Fremantle approached us to do some training on that theme.

The three groups spent Saturday sharing those skills and on Sunday the skills were put into action as dummies were thrown into the water and retrieved.

Mr Johns said experienced medics were also onboard to help with after-retrieval resuscitation and medical attention.

“The three groups found all three targets and it was a great example of no borders within a rescue — we don’t care where you are from as long as you are pushing the same way,” he said.

“We have done many trainings with other groups before, but this training was special because it is introducing new things to groups that are highly relevant.

“Our surf life saving guys here are highly skilled and their skills are very relevant to marine rescue.”

Albany Sea Rescue has been using jet skis for about five years, and the training day shared the tactics the local groups use to run skis with boats and in white water over distance.

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