Photos & Video: Fire Service Marine Exercise

July 12, 2014

The Bermuda Fire and Rescue Service [BFRS] recently conducted simulated water rescue training near Stokes Bay, St George’s.

Fire Service spokesperson Lt. Leonard Davis said, “The training exercise was conducted in an attempt to prepare Fire Service staff for the possibility of an aircraft water rescue. The Fire/ Rescue Water Craft of the BFRS is a 27 foot Boston Whaler designed and built in Clearwater Florida by the Brunswick Corporation.

Bermuda Fire & Rescue Service Marine Boat, July 9 2014-19

“It is powered by twin 225 horse power Yamaha engines. It was purchased as a result of a Regulatory requirement to supply a means of rescue for passengers in the event of a water borne incident.

“The Department of Airport Operations and the Bermuda Department of Civil Aviation supported the purchase of the boat to meet the regulatory requirements for aircraft travelling over dangerous environs.

“It must be appreciated that the flight paths into L. F. Wade International Bermuda are over water and the BFRS Airport Operations Division has a mandate to provide the rescue capability for what is deemed the 1000 meter rule.

Bermuda Fire & Rescue Service Marine Boat, July 9 2014-5

“This rule encompasses 1000 meters from either end of the runway and surroundings such as Ferry Reach, Castle Harbour, Annie’s Bay and Clearwater.

“In order to meet the mandate the BFRS has embarked upon an ambitious training program to ensure that there is a trained and certified cadre of fire fighters to carry out the requirement. The service has qualified “C” class pilots and has 12 other members in various stages of qualification to deploy and operate the boat.

Bermuda Fire & Rescue Service Marine Boat, July 9 2014-15

“The BFRS has established a “quid pro quo” arrangement with the Department of Marine and Ports to assist each other with training and certification. This arrangement was necessary in light of the severe budget constraints and demonstrates the willingness of Government entities to help in these tough financial times.

“The foremost consideration at any aircraft incident whether on land or in the sea is to provide the opportunity for live casualties to be able to save themselves if possible. The BFRS employs a pre-planned and practiced approach to such disasters.

“In that regard the following is a brief overview of how the situation is dealt with during a water emergency:

  • 1. The immediate requirement for the BFRS Airport Operations Division in this scenario is to launch the Rescue Water Craft and get to the incident site. Once on scene the operator of the boat must deploy the life rafts. (This is to give the live casualties an opportunity to get to the rafts and either get in them or hang onto them until rescued.)
  • 2. Once the rafts have been deployed and the live casualties have been able to get to them and help themselves the rafts will be towed to a safe landing area referred to as a beach head. (At this landing site the BFRS EMT-I medical teams will start the triaging of the casualties until the responding resources from within the service and the KEMH arrive to assist.)
  • 3. Not every live casualty will be able to make it to the life rafts and in that instance the boat will go to them to assist them to safety.
  • 4. Once all the potential lifesaving rescues have been completed the boat will change operational roles from a rescue role to a recovery role.

“There are several supporting agencies to aid with the rescue operations that encompass both in water resources and land resources. However as this is primarily about water incidents we would be ably assisted by the Maritime Operations Centre [Harbour Radio] the Bermuda Police Service [Marine and Land Sections] the Department of Marine and Ports the Fisheries Division and the general public.

Click to enlarge photos:

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Category: Accidents and fires, Accidents/Fires, All, Marine, News, Photos

Comments (17)

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  1. Family Man says:

    An operation like this makes a lot more sense than sending the Regiment to Jamaica to learn jungle warfare skills.

    Set clear and appropriate goals, make the training relevant and interesting and you’ll get volunteers.

    • micro says:

      Idk if that is a part of the boat troop’s and medic’s training, but I agree it should be.

  2. Truth is killin' me... says:

    I would hope that in the event of a crash landing on water that the powers that be would allow any abled person with a boat to respond and aid in the recovery of passengers from the crash site instead of letting passengers wait for emergency personnel. Time would be of the essence here especially if some passengers did not know how to swim. Bermudians with boats would be your best asset in this situation instead of cordoning off the crash site.

    • Allspice says:

      Well, presumably if you were there and rescue services were not then there would be nobody to prevent you from performing your civic duty. Once experienced personnel did arrive I would not be at all surprised if they did not take control of the situation as they are required to do.

      Let’s all just remain calm.

      • Allspice says:

        I would not be at all surprised if they took control of the situation … etc

    • micro says:

      I think they key there would be is that if you can help, help, if not, stay out of the way. I don’t think anyone is going to say, “no, the common citizen can’t help”.

    • guy and cats says:

      would about the florida guy and his cats.

      only time bermudans are in the water is at cup match. very poor for being an island.

  3. Unbelievable says:

    Bermuda is beautiful – awesome photos

  4. Terry says:

    Bermudians will respond in numbers.

    The exercise looks great on paper.

    Off the east end one little boat like that……………

    Ferry Reach/Castle harbor et al well….most don’t survive the initial.

    Go ahead…..but some will get my point.


  5. mangrove tree says:

    Travelling under the bridge at high speed is reckless and stupid, as this is a Five knot zone .

    As a Government Department they should be setting a good example ,and should have conducted this outside a five knot zone , up to the west of Stone Crusher Corner would have been fine.

    I hope the Marine Police issue the operator of the boat with a ticket, and if he is inposession of a Pilots Licence, he is hauled in before the Marine Board .

    • lovely says:

      can you be that much of an idiot. its a exercise. If you ever need emergency services tell them obey the speed law too. some people are just retarted.

      • mangrove tree says:

        By resorting to an Ad Hominem argument, you do not prove me wrong , but rather only prove that you exhibit the traits that you ascribe to me !

        Regarding your comment “its a exercise. If you ever need emergency services tell them obey the speed law too. some people are just retarted.”

        Yes ,the article clearly states it was an exercise, I am overjoyed that you can read.

        I am sure the persons in question fully explained to the bridge that they ARE the Fire Department and that the bridge should not attempt to allide with them.

        I am sure ,that after they had been through the bridge a few times at high speed, they would have cleared the bridge of any fishing line with hooks and line attached, that bridges in Bermuda tend be draped in

        The Emergency Services job in this case was to practice rescueing victims resulting from an aircrash.(I can read the article!)

        If the Boat operators are that unprofessional that they allide with the bridge at high speed, then they will not be rescuing anyone.
        Resources will have to be diverted to them .
        If they collide with marine traffic, because they are resticted in their ability to maneuver, by the nature of their high speed, and the low speed of any civilian traffic, , then again resources will have to be diverted.

        If the wake that they produce causes damage, to persons or other vessels,again resources will have to be diverted.

        I must suggest you take the time to read the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, particulary the Bits about

        Look-out -Every vessel shall at all times maintain a proper look-out by sight and hearing as well as by all available means appropriate in the prevailing circumstances and conditions so as to make a full appraisal of the situation and of the risk of collision

        Safe speed Every vessel shall at all times proceed at a safe speed so that she can take proper and effective action to avoid collision and be stopped within a distance appropriate to the prevailing circumstances and conditions.
        In determining a safe speed the following factors shall be among those taken into account:

        (a) By all vessels:
        (i) the state of visibility;
        (ii) the traffic density including concentrations of fishing vessels or any other vessels;
        (iii) the manoeuvrability of the vessel with special reference to stopping distance and turning ability in the prevailing conditions;
        (iv) at night the presence of background light such as from shore lights or from back scatter of her own lights;
        (v) the state of wind, sea and current, and the proximity of navigational hazards;
        (vi) the draught in relation to the available depth of water.

        And finally regarding the comment that “some people are just retarted.” which I assume you again use to describe to me,insinuating that i have mental health ,or learning difficulties, I can only suggest that you carefully check your spelling , I think you mean “RETARDED”. Which I most probably am not , however please remember that this not a very funny thing to say anymore , the use of such terminology is a reflection of your character.

        I have had a “C” Pilots license for 20 something years , and operate boats of all sizes, in all areas of Bermuda waters. I have not had an accident ,nor has anyone been injured under my “watch” .I have letters of recommendation attesting to my professional conduct, and more importantly people willing to pay money for my skills!

        Why have i made these comments? because I am right.

        This “exercise” appears to be little more than a Photo op for the Fire Department and appears conducted in a dangerous and unprofessional manner , putting lives and valuble equipment at risk .
        I would not have a problem if had been conducted several hundred yards away, out of the 5 knot zone where there was full visibilty, and little danger to the Public, and themselves.

        Good night!

        • Bloggers rights says:

          What I appreciate about blogs is that they can provide the community with a platforms to say something meaningful and constructive. To really help move our country forward with educated dialogue that aids everyone.

          Unfortunately I feel you missed your opportunity to do so and it saddens me.

  6. Mark 107 says:

    What is wrong with people! It was a exercise. If you were in the water wanting rescue would you hope that that the operator obeyed the 5 knot rule? Practice as if it were the real deal. The exercise was obviously conducted in such a fashion that it did not put anyone in harms way. Look at the runway, this is where an accident could possibly take place. Practice makes perfect!

  7. Ferrari says:

    Why not reach out to fully trained and qualified Lifeguards who deal with in-water rescues throughout their entire season.

    Just a thought.

    • Arthur - Atlanta says:

      Hey Ferrai, reach out to lifeguards for what? When they rescue someone from the water (maybe 2-3 times a year), who do you think they hand them over to? I will tell you. They hand them over to the same firefighters/EMT’s who deal with emergencies every single day of the year.
      BTW This water rescue practice is not something new for them. They started that over 20 years ago. I know because…I was a part of the training.

  8. ray says:

    Even marine police break with normal rules of the water during emergency circumstances. This type of training is necessary. You won’t care until they have to come speeding through a no wake zone for you. Idiot!!! Another person making uneducated comments.

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