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Search and Rescue Coordination Training underway in Nuku’alofa

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 27/09/2017


It is vital to develop, enhance and increase understanding and co-ordination between the Agencies involved in Maritime search in Tonga.


This Is the purpose of a 4 day training underway at the police Training College led by two experts from Rescue Coordination centre, NZ – Mr. David Wilson and Ms. Christie Wilson.


Attending the Training are members from His Majesty’s Armed Forces (Navy), Tonga Coastal Radio, Marine and Ports, Ministry of Environment and a Representative from Vava’u Emergency Response Association as well as Tonga Police SAR Team.


In his opening remarks, the Police Commissioner – Stephen Caldwell reminded the participants that of their role which is to protect the citizens by working with the community we serve.


Since the launched of Police Rescue Boats in December 2015, 86 lives have been saved from 24 Marine SAR Operations and the Commissioner acknowledged the good work from stake holders.


He continued emphasizing on 3 main points that needs to be addressed with Marine Search and Rescue.


First – Public Education and Awareness to stop people making bad decisions with bad boats and equipment, second, to maintain the capability to respond quickly and professionally in a coordinated manner.


And lastly is to bring home the lost seafarers to their families but make sure you the rescuers also get home to your families by making good operational decisions.


He further said, there is always room for improvement and to do that we have to learn from our mistakes, debrief after every Operation, practice our drills, examine our Standard


Operating Procedures, be prepared at all times, maintain our boats and learn from the experience of others.


The Training is a follow up from the Sixth Pacific Regional SAR Workshop held in Noumea, New Caledonia, in 2015 followed by one in Auckland in 2017 and is funded under the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.


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