Port Colborne Marine Auxiliary Rescue (POCOMAR) crews will put their skills and training to work Saturday during a large-scale search and rescue exercise on Lake Erie.
The all-volunteer unit will be working alongside other Canadian Coast Guard auxiliary units, Canadian Coast Guard vessels and other agencies, including the Royal Canadian Air Force.
The annual exercise is an opportunity for the auxiliary units to demonstrate their capabilities to the coast guard, which will have observers onboard both of POCOMAR’s vessels, said unit commander Norm Dashwood.
During the exercise, the various vessels are given tasks, such as looking for a person in the water or a missing boat, represented by a lifejacket or buoy in the lake. The vessels are given an area of the lake in which to conduct their search, which could be anywhere east or west of Port Colborne, and the observers watch how the crews operate.
A CC-130 Hercules and CH-146 Griffon from 424 (Tiger) Squadron, based out of Trenton, ON, will also be on hand, working with all of the vessels in the water, as long as they are not out on an actual search and rescue tasking.
Dashwood said the Hercules may be dropping flares and smoke canisters, which sometimes wash up on shore between Port Colborne and Wainfleet. He said they should not be handled, and anyone who finds one of the canisters should contact the authorities.
Source – POCOMAR press release