AFD Offers Demonstration of Water Rescue Capabilities

Juan Cabo--The AFD poses for a group shot following the successful demonstration.

AFD Offers Demonstration of Water Rescue Capabilities

On Wednesday, March 16, The Sun had the honor of attending a demonstration of up-to-date water rescue procedures, led by our friends and partners at the Alameda Fire Department. The presentation was held at Alameda Point, in the shadow of the USS Hornet Sea, Air and Space Museum, and was led by AFD Chief Nick Luby, with additional insight from Dive Program Manager Captain Mike DeWindt and Captain Dave Port.

The scenario was designed to illustrate the response time and options available in a classic “man overboard” situation. This included the deployment of divers with an on-the-ground support unit, swimmers on paddle boards, the use of the AFD boat and a dramatic last-minute flyby from a Coast Guard helicopter.

In attendance were members of neighboring fire departments, friends and family of personnel, members of the public, and city officials, including Councilwoman Trish Herrera Spencer.

Although the morning was sunny and warm, personnel were quick to remind attendees that these are far from the circumstances rescuers typically find themselves in, with many operations mounted at night under daunting weather conditions with close to zero visibility — often seeking targets who may be unresponsive or incapacitated. Diving personnel require a minimum of 200 hours of extensive training to achieve certification.

Juan Cabo    AFD’s boat approaches the scene as a Coast Guard chopper makes a flyby of the area.
Juan Cabo    Captain Mike DeWindt guides attendees through the morning’s rescue exercise.