Agencies Work Together to Prepare for Water Rescues on Lake Superior
Thursday’s incident on Park Point also has agencies discussing more joint training
DULUTH, Minn. – Several agencies helped the Saint Louis County Rescue Squad search for the Fuglies.
One of those agencies, the Duluth Fire Department, regularly trains for these types of situations. The department also trains with groups like the U.S. Coast Guard and the county rescue squad. Those sessions give each agency a sense of who does what well.
“It shows us who’s got what equipment, who can do what,” said Chris Martinson, Assistant Fire Chief with the Duluth Fire Department. “The sheriffs have underwater scanning capabilities, they have divers. We don’t have that. It’s working together to get the job done.”
The United States Lifesaving Association estimates more than 100 people die on American beaches every year because of rip currents. However, it’s possible to get back to shore. One rescuer says the key is to not panic.
“Your natural reaction in cold water like that is to gasp,” said John Mossbarger, a petty officer with the U.S. Coast Guard. “Get your breathing under control, stay calm, and try to swim parallel to the shore. That way you can get out of the rip current and swim to safety.”
Duluth fire officials remind people to take red flag warnings seriously and don’t get in the water when they’re in effect.
Thursday’s incident on Park Point also has agencies discussing more joint training.