ONSLOW COUNTY, NC— Hammocks Beach State Park will host a Helo-Aquatic Rescue Training exercise April 10-11, 2017. This full-scale regional drill will provide joint operations training for air and water rescue teams. The purpose of this exercise is to strengthen communications between multiple agencies from land, air and water. This type of training is vital for implementation during real-life scenarios that could occur in Eastern North Carolina, such as the recent flooding due to Hurricane Matthew.
By carrying out this exercise in the Intracoastal Waterway, units will be able to train in moving water as opposed to stagnant water. Onslow County Emergency Services Director Norman Bryson commented on the selection of Hammocks Beach State Park as the training locale:
“Hammocks Beach State Park is a good choice for this operation because in a real scenario, first responders would be dealing with boats, ferries and tourists. The park location gives great incident management practice to agencies.”
Agencies taking part in the exercise include: North Carolina Emergency Management, United States Coast Guard (USCG) Sector North Carolina, USCG Station Emerald Isle, USCG Air Station Elizabeth City, Hammocks Beach State Park, Onslow County Emergency Services, Onslow County Sheriff’s Office, North Carolina Highway Patrol, North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries, North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission, Swansboro Fire Department and Southeastern Incident Management Team.
This exercise is weather dependent; should the forecast shift and predict rain, officials will notify of a cancellation or future date for the exercise.
Media wishing to cover the event should arrive at the Hammocks Beach State Park Main Building between 9-9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, April 11. Media will need to register for the event. Exercise briefing begins promptly at 10 a.m. Media, along with VIP guests, will be taken by ferry to observe the event; dress appropriately for the elements.
Please RSVP by Friday, April 7 to: Riley Eversull, Onslow County Communications Specialist, (910) 989-3192