Scenario 1: People in the water
As we have a three-day window of possible departures from the Libyan coast coming up, the Search and Rescue Team has to prepare for the possible scenario that people are already in the water when the rigid hull inflatable boats (RHIBs) arrive on the scene. In such a case, the SAR team will have to use floating devices such as banana rafts and bricks, for people to hold on to until the SAR crew pulls them up, one-by-one, onto the RHIB.
Scenario 2: Man over board!
Another scenario was “Man over board”, in which a person already on the RHIB falls back into the water. Here, coordination between driver and the crew members pulling the body out of the water is key. The higher the waves, the more difficult it is to grab the person and pull them onto the boat.
Depending on whether the person is still breathing or not, a third person might have to start breast compressions immediately. In any case, the remaining crewmembers aboard the Aquarius will be notified of the person´s condition to prepare the reception.
Once the RHIB is in stable contact with the boat landing, the breast compressions must be interrupted to transport the person aboard the Aquarius. Different modes to do this were tested over the past days to find the fastest yet safest way, reducing the time without breast compressions to a minimum.
Text: Sarah Hammerl, SOS MEDITERRANEE
Pictures: Patrick Bahr