A SAREX is a search and rescue exercise.
Marine Rescue Tuross prepared for this years SAREX by placing the primary rescue vessel TU20 onto the trailer on Friday afternoon. The only information we had was that on Friday night we would be given a briefing outlining our task for the Saturday.
At 1930 I, the unit commander received an email asking us to stand by at Narooma wharf at 0600 the following morning with a full crew and await our tasking.
At 0535 Sat morning Blaise Madden, Alan Blessington and Peter Quick with TU20 in tow set off for Narooma. At 0630 TU20 and crew were tied up at Narooma Marine Rescue Wharf awaiting our tasking.
A phone call at 0730 tasked us to accompany Narooma’s two jet skis (RWCs) and conduct a “coastal search beginning half a nautical mile from the Narooma Entrance and ending at Kianga Point. If nothing was found conduct a line search from one and a half nautical miles off Kianga Point back to our start position.
At 0800 Tu20 crossed the Narooma bar and with the two RWCs astern headed down to our start point. At 0820 we began the coastal search. The RWCs took the inside and searched round the rocks and coves and inside the surf zone. At 0930 all three vessels were off Kianga Point having found nothing. TU20 moved off shore 0ne and a half nautical miles and with the RWCs on the shore side began a sweep heading south.
Three quarters of a nautical mile off the South Wall of Narooma entrance the inside RWC spotted the target (a manikin) and took it on board and transferred it TU20 where a medical assessment was made and the manikin was strapped onto TU20’s spine board for its journey over the Narooma Bar and onto the Marine Rescue Wharf.
At this stage we were asked to stand down as our part of the annual SAREX was complete. TU20 was loaded onto the trailer and with a short debrief at Anton’s on the way home TU20 was back on the Air Berth at Marine Rescue Tuross HQ at 1500.
Congratulations to Alan and Peter for the manner in which they carried out their duties on TU20 as Helmsmen, spotters and crew. Plus the very early start. This was a “live” exercise so we were unaware of what our task would be until I was briefed at 0730. So despite the early start and the travelling, TU20 and crew acquitted themselves very well, thanks to all the training and hours spent on TU20.
Marine Rescue Tuross