One of the Coast Guard’s most visible duties is that of the helicopter rescue swimmer. Alongside fellow aircrew, rescue swimmers deploy into a myriad of challenging rescues ranging from hurricanes and cliff rescues, to emergency medical evacuations from ships at sea.
To prepare for whatever may come their way, rescue swimmers, or aviation survival technicians, train at the Aviation Technical Training Center in Elizabeth City, N.C., the Coast Guard’s technical training provider for enlisted aviation forces.
Take a look at this training exercise where rescue swimmers use what they learn from day one in a simulated emergency. The instructors simulated a boat taking on water with three people aboard. The swimmer had to troubleshoot a pump for five minutes before the boat sank and three people were in the water. The next task was to get the people into a life raft and transfer the people one-by-one to the hoist platform where the victims were placed into a rescue basket and hoisted to safety.
Do you have what it takes?