Chile – Second District MRCC – Valparaiso – Caldera, Coquimbo, Valparaiso, & San Antonio

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The Second District MRCC is in the Naval Zone Ia, North Chile and includes the major port of Valparaiso. The District extends West to 120 Degrees, 00 Minutes West where it meets SAR Area Papeete. At 30 Degrees, 00 Minutes South, it extends along the Southern boundary of SAR Area Papeete to 131 Degrees, 00 Minutes West where it meets SAR Area New Zealand.

Chile – Fifth District MRCC – Punta Arenas & Puerto Williams

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The Fifth District MRCC is divided into three seaward zones, defining the primary SAR assets, with regular Chilean Navy warships, with embarked helicopters, taking responsibility for the most westerly zone.

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Cape Horn in good weather

The Fifth District MRCC is in Naval Zone IIIa. The mainland district of Chile is Patagonia, ending at Cape Horn. The MRCC Fifth District continues South to Antarctica and West to 131 Degrees 00 Minutes West, where it meets the SAR Zone covered by New Zealand. This is one of the most forbidding and hostile maritime areas on Earth. Prevailing winds are Westerly and the area is subject to frequent violent storms. In addition to cruise ships, many yacht races pass east about on circumnaviagation. A much smaller number attempt a west about rounding of Cape Horn and the smallest yacht to successfully make a west about passage was the Alpha Global Expedition yacht Barrabas, sailed by British solo yachtsman Adrian Flanagan.

Chilean SAR Managment

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Chile accepts responsibility for a very large area of the Pacific. This area is divided vertically and horizontally. As the area extends West, some 4,000 miles from the coast, the SAR services must depend on the Chilean Navy to provide ocean coverage, using its warships and embarked helicopters, when incidents are beyond the range of coastal SAR assets.
Each country provides SAR coverage in a manner that most suits local conditions. Chile relies on Governmental organizations for primary coverage and the volunteer lifeboat service is supported by the Chilean Navy in fuel subsidies and training.
At the heart of the SAR services is a modern and professional Command and Control Center that employs C4ISR technology to provide a real-time presentation of incidents as a surface picture. From the early military and intelligence command and control systems, that employed map tables and depicted objects as coloured wooden blocks, moved around the table manually by plotters, a range of technologies are now integrated to provide considerable information in a very practical manner. The Chilean system uses the acronym, C4ISR, for Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance to reflect the technologies and functionality brought together.

Free Download eMagazine “SAR Spotlight On: Issue 1, Chile”

Armada de Chile

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Chile assumes responsibility for maritime search and rescue in an area extending approximately 4,000 kilometers west of its coastline. It maintains search-and-rescue coordination centers at Iquique, Valparaíso, Talcahuano, Puerto Montt, and Punta Arenas. As none of its vessels is suitable for deep-sea patrol or rescue work, the Coast Guard may call on the ships and aircraft of the navy proper, in particular its helicopters, for support when necessary. The various port captains also maintain and staff lifeboats for inshore rescue.
The main area of the southern Pacific is divided for SAR coverage between Peru, Chile, France, and New Zealand. The areas covered by New Zealand and Chile account for a much greater area than that covered from Tahiti by France and by Peru as Chile’s neighbour to the North.
The length of the coastline of Chile produces a number of challenges because of the range of climate, the location of population centres, the nature of the coastline, and the available port and airport facilities.
The area covered by Chile has seen increasing diversity of marine and air traffic that potentially requires assistance in often very hostile conditions. Even with the huge increase in air traffic during the last fifty years, there has also been an increase in merchant marine traffic. This increasing marine traffic sees larger bulk and container carriers linking Asia with the Americas, India, Africa and Europe. It is also seeing an increase in passenger ships as cruising becomes very popular and includes cruises to Antarctica and across oceans. Cruise liners are also growing in size and this presents the potential for emergencies that involve large numbers of passengers some distance from the closest safe haven and in extreme weather and sea conditions.

Free Download eMagazine “SAR Spotlight On: Issue 1, Chile

Torbay RNLI assist yacht tangled in weather buoy line during a busy weekend

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Picture taken from video footage – The lifeboat crew take up the tow (Credit RNLI/Torbay)

Date: 21/05/2012

Author: Colin Bower, Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer

The weekend started early for the RNLI Torbay lifeboat volunteers. On Thursday evening at approximately 9:20pm, the Brixham Coastguard recieved a Mayday Relay call regarding a man who had apparently jumped off of Princess Pier Torquay and was seen swimming out to sea. A local yacht responded to the call and started a search. Meanwhile at 9:37pm the RNLI Torbay lifeboat was launched and arrived on scene some nine minutes later. By this time the thirty eight foot yacht had fortunately recovered the man from the water. The Lifeboat then transferred a doctor and two other crew members to the yacht to asscess the situation; an ambulance was called and the man was transferred to Torbay Hospital and was treated for the effects of hypothermia.

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The Lizard RNLI lifeboat station is preparing for two major celebrations

JH side view of boathouse and Rose x1

Over the past two years The Lizard lifeboat station has been going through a station rebuild and has also taken delivery of a new Tamar class all-weather lifeboat. When the station in Kilcobben Cove, The Lizard, was demolished in May 2010 local photographer Geoff Squibb decided to take a few images of the rebuild for posterity, but after visiting the building site in all winds and weather and having taken over 6500 images, has now produced a book documenting this amazing project.

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Clogher Head RNLI called to assist fishing vessel which was taking on water and at risk of sinking

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(Credit RNLI/Clogher Head)

Date: 18/02/2012

Author: Aimee Corcoran, Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer

At approximately 11.30am on Wednesday 15 February Clogher Head RNLI responded to a distress call from a local fisherman about 1.5 miles out from Dunany Point. The 36ft wooden boat with two men on board was rapidly taking on water due to a mechanical failure and was at risk of sinking.

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Torbay RNLI trial new public launch alerting system

MS Matt Tyler with the sound system January 2012

There’s been a positive response to a new public launch alerting system being trialled at the RNLI lifeboat station in Brixham. The signal, a six second siren, will be sounded when the charity’s volunteer crews launch their lifeboat to an incident. The idea is that residents and visitors to the town and harbour users will know when the lifeboat is putting to sea.

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