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March 24th 2017 - 22:55
June 2nd, 2007
June 2nd, 2007

Pre-Congress Weekend

WOW - what an amazing display of SAR, vessels, aircraft, and people. Weīre reeling from it all to say the least. The photos show the tip of the iceberg only - but itīs hard to imagine all of what we took in in only one day...

the day started simply enough and just seemed to keep building from there. A great breakfast complete with home made yogurt at the hotel and then it was down to the docks to Check out the boats. Iīm not sure exactly how many vessels are here, or from how many countries - but there are MANY of them. New and old, from near and far and of all types imaginable.

The smallest is probably the Swedish "Rescue Runner" a jet-ski based SAR platform designed for recovery of people in the water. The mid-range is a huge collection of Cabin vessels in the 8-12m range from at least (by memory) the following: France, Germany, Norway, Denmark, England, Netherlands, Spain, and of Course Sweden. The huge German SAR "Battleship" (nickname) dwarfs all the rest at a massive 30m (best guess)

The fun began as we started to tour the docks. Our īCanadian SAR Teamī badges sewn into our apparel got us special access in several cases - and if that didnīt get noticed the size of Kelleiīs Camera did it the rest of the time ;) Kellei took almost 700 photos today, the majority are up on the IMRF web site - but in a restricted gallery - weīll find a location elsewhere for them and let you know when they are on-line.

We toured many boats and aircraft - so many that itīs far too much to go into all the details so here are the highlights:

Kellei at the controls of a SAR Helecopter (see photo)
Being up-close for the SAR Heli-Lift exercise
A Canadian-Built Zodiac (Norway) a design that weīve never seen before.
A massive SAR exercise with over 50 people in the water and a huge ferry
Meeting people from Norway, Sweden, Namibia, South Africa, Germany, England, France, and Spain (thankfully all of whom spoke English)

Referred to above the massive exercise was an amazing thing to watch. They dropped 50 (our best visual count) volunteers (mainly teens) in the water to simulate a ferry evacuation. Air-lifted in one of the jet-ski "Rescue Runners" dropped a person in the water who prepped it and started recovering people to a life-raft. They then descended in with 4 more "Rescue Runners" and all set to work on the 50 people in the water. Next thing we knew a HUGE ferry appears and drops their rescue vessel (an 8m RHIB) and joins in. It took less then 20mins to recover all 50 people and this was done mainly by the "Rescue Runners" from a SAR point of view - it was incredible.

It was right at the end of this display that we finally connected with Gerry - the IMRF CEO that invited us to this whole event. We didnīt see him at first - but rather heard him as he was describing the rescue process in English over the PA - so we followed the sound of his voice. We finally got connected up and arranged to meet for dinner (we had to turn down in invitation from the crew from Oslo to do it)

The quiet 4 person dinner that was planned ended up as a party of 10 including several others from Sweden and New Zealand. Downtown Gothenburg is on the other side of the river - well, we had several hundred boats just hanging around - so it was time for a 12m rescue vessel ride across - Kellei got a chance to drive this Swedish Jet-Boat as we headed across and up the river to the town center. Dinner was fantastic yet again - complete with the IMRF traditional Irish Coffee and we finished off the night at a Bar on the decks of the renovated 4 masted Barque īVikingī (a floating hotel) before taking the "real" ferry Back to the Eriksburg district of Gothenburg and our hotel - we finally got to bed at 1am.

So that was the first day (eek) I hope we survive this.

More Images

Kellei at the controls
Kellei at the controls
New Zodiac Model
New Zodiac Model
The Largest
The Largest
The Smallest
The Smallest
Now thatīs a MOB Drill!
Now thatīs a MOB Drill!
Kellei at the controls
Kellei at the controls

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