Volunteers for mock sea crash wanted

WANTED: casualties and survivors.That's the call from Felixstowe Coastguard which is recruiting people who would like to be involved in a collision between a container ship and a cruise liner.

By Richard Cornwell

WANTED: casualties and survivors.

That's the call from Felixstowe Coastguard which is recruiting people who would like to be involved in a collision between a container ship and a cruise liner.

Officials know exactly when the crash is to take place, right down to the date and time - because it's part of a major exercise to test the emergency plan for a serious incident in Harwich harbour.

No-one will really be hurt in the incident, but the organisers of the agencies involved want to make the exercise as realistic as possible.

“For the past two years we have done table top exercises to look at all the issues, check we still have everything in place that we need and update our procedures,” said Felixstowe sector Coastguard Jo Arlow.

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“Now we are going to do the exercise for real so we can actually see how it works on the ground.

“In order to do this we need a large number of people to take part to act as casualties, survivors and so on to make the exercise as realistic as possible.

“It will be a full day for those who take part and an interesting experience, too.”

Men and women wanting to take part should be between 18 and 55 years old and need to attend the Felixstowe Coastguard Station, Schneider Close, Felixstowe, on Friday September 28 between 9am and 3pm to register and find out more about what will be involved.

“We really need to see people face to face so we can explain to them what will happen on the day and check that they will be happy - a lot of people will need to be out on boats, be involved in rescues, and we need to run through that with them, as well as register their details,” said Mr Arlow.

The exercise will take place between 8am and 4pm on October 9 and involve a large number of agencies both in Suffolk and Essex.

Lifeboats, helicopters, WRVS, police, firefighters, ambulance crews, nursing staff from hospitals, coastguards, port authorities, and shipping companies, will be among many bodies taking part.

Do you think it is a good idea to hold the emergency exercise for real every few years? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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