Onboard preparations for proceeding to SAR Operations (With Search Pattern)

13.04.14 Members of the Limerick Marine Search and Rescue Service perform rescue drills on the river Shannon. Team members, Mark O'Brien, Peter Hogan and Kieran Goodison perform a river rescue on Tony Cusack. Picture: Alan Place.

*Post extra look out.

* Inform C/E to ST-By engine, but at full sea speed.

* Note down deviation time, position and ROBs.

* Inform owner/ charterer about the deviation.

## Assign Duties to Officers ##

C/O to prepare:

* Prepare rescue boats and ready for immediate launching.

* Extra life jackets, life buoys, buoyant life lines, line throwing apparatus readily available.

* Rig guest warp, accommodation ladder, scrambling nets and life lines running from bow to astern at

the water edge on both sides.

* Prepare crane/derricks with cargo nets for recovery of survivors.

* Test search lights, signaling lamps, torches.

2/O to prepare:

* Ship’s hospital to receive casualties and prepare stretchers, blankets, foods, medicines.

* Plot both vessels’ positions and establish course to rendezvous at maximum speed and update ETA.

* Plot other vessels within the search vicinity together with their respective movements.

* Change over to manual steering.

* Plot search pattern.

* Keep continuous radar watch. Track all vessel in the vicinity.

* Contact RCC via CRS.

* Maintain communication radio watch and update distress information.

* Monitor weather report.

Search Patterns

Search pattern will depend on the followings:

* Size of area to be searched.

* Type of distressed craft.

* Size of the distressed craft.

* Meteorological visibility.

* Cloud ceiling.

* Type of sea conditions.

* Time of day.

* Arrival time of datum.

Normally three basic search patterns are used. Namely:

* Parallel Sweep Search

* Expanding Square Search

* Sector Search

Parallel sweep search (PS)

* Used to search a large area when survivor’s location is uncertain.

* May be used with single or multiple vessels.

* Commence search point (CSP) is one of the corners of the search area.

* CSP may be a corner of a sub area if a large area is to search.

* It is ½ track space inside the rectangle from each of the two sides forming the rectangle.

* Orientation is generally in the estimated direction of drift of the search object.

Parallel sweep search by one ship:

Parallel sweep search by two ships:

Expanding square search (SS)

* Most effective when location of object is known to be within close limit.

* CSP (Commence search point) is always datum.

* First leg usually oriented into the wind.

* Suitable for use by a single vessel or boat.

* Used when searching for persons in water.

* Search object with no leeway.

Sector search (VS)

* Most effective when the location of search object is accurately known.

* Search area to be small.

* Used to search a circular area.

* Center is datum position.

* Datum may be marked by dropping a suitable marker, such as a life buoy.

* Search radius is normally 2 – 5 n. miles for vessels.

* Each turn is 120°, normally to starboard.

* Second search leg is 30º off from the first leg.

* CSP (Commence search point) is one side of the circular search area.

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