Last night users of the Bournemouth - Swanage Ferry might have been surprised to see 19 Coastguard Rescue Officers suited, booted and wearing life jackets on board.
Coastguards from Swanage and Poole met on board and faced several medical type incidents in the confines of the ferry. Identifying the various areas on the ferry and confirming their classification under working regulations was the first task the teams faced. Certain areas are out of bounds for the Coastguard as there is a lack of air for example so in these incidents we would assist the fire service who would use specialist equipment we don't have.
So having identified enclosed spaces or restricted spaces the fun began evacuating dummies from several locations on board which was tricky using a stretcher in narrow corridors.
Events were slightly disrupted when the Swanage IRT were tasked to an incident at the pier but with many people on board there was enough to cover.
Part of the exercise was to allow others to take charge of an incident as part of their Officer in charge training which is an on going process in the teams.
Our very special thanks to the staff of the Ferry Company for allowing us to carry out this exercise. We think we had about 8 crossings so we will settle the bill next week!