6 January 2020 — Underlining the importance of following safety measures while at sea, a video of a joint rescue operation was released recently.
The video Shows a yachtsman stranded out to sea was rescued by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) and the Northern Territory Police, thanks to the life jacket with a personal locator beacon he was wearing.
The man was rescued in the Arafura Sea about 45 km east of Cape Wessel, in Australia’s Northern Territory, on Monday.
The video shows the stranded yacht and the man wearing a yellow jacket in the seawater waving at the rescue boat. Later, the boat is seen carrying the yachtsman on to its vessel safely.
The maritime authority stresses the importance of registering vessels since it can mean life or death in such situations.
Had the yachtsman’s vessel not been registered, it would have been much more difficult for the rescue team to locate the man out in the open sea.
“This incident highlights the importance of individuals taking personal responsibility for their safety at sea,” said Jamie Storrie, acting manager, AMSA Response Centre in an official report.
“When you are on any boat, conditions can change and you can find yourself in the water. Wearing a life jacket is designed to prevent a person from drowning, but a life jacket with a Personal Locator Beacon will enable us to find you.”
“Last night the NT Police successfully rescued the solo yachtsman and I cannot stress enough the importance of life jackets with personal locator beacons.”
The AMSA has round-the-clock hi-tech search and rescue capabilities, which help them respond immediately to calls by people stranded at sea across the region. The authority uses an emergency towage vessel, four jet aircraft, satellite technology and contracted equipment in search and rescue operations.
The AMSA encourages people to be ready with the correct safety equipment before they start sailing.
Among the instructions it has issued for people dropping a line, going for a joy ride, or indulging in adventure sports, the AMSA has given a check-list:
*Check the weather conditions before you set sailing. One should also know how weather conditions affect the sea. In case of bad weather, it is better to reschedule the trip. Keep an eye on weather warnings issued by the Bureau of Meteorology.
*Carry safety equipment needed in all possible emergencies. Comply with carriage requirements listed by the local marine safety agency.
*Keep handy proper verbal communication means, including a marine radio. One should not depend only on the mobile.
*Communicate to your emergency contact about your trip plan and its details, including the tentative arrival time. Friends and family members would be able to alert search and rescue (SAR) authorities just in case you are not home safely by the time you mentioned. Following your return, communicate to your emergency contact that you are back safely.
*Get a registered GPS distress beacon installed. It is legally mandatory in some cases.
The AMSA has given details about its major search and rescue missions from July 2019 to June 2020. It located the wreckage of an ultra-light aircraft that crashed at Leigh Creek on July 26, 2019. There were no survivors in the crash.
The authority successfully rescued two persons with a dismasted Catamaran Sarabi on November 19, 2019. It was sailing from Lord Howe Island to the Gold Coast.
(Edited by Shirish Vishnu Shinde and Vaibhav Vishwanath Pawar.)
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