Coastguard rescue exercises off Itu Aba


A new patrol vessel with full medical facilities has been deployed to test its responses to a possible oil spill and fire on a dredging vessel

The Coast Guard Administration has carried out a rescue exercise in the waters surrounding Itu Aba Island (Taiping Island, 太平島) in the South China Sea, it said yesterday.

The Oct. 28 drill was conducted as part of the government’s commitment to transform the island into a humanitarian aid and resupply base in the South China Sea.

The exercise simulated a fire in the engine room of a Taiwan-registered work boat in the scenario of a 20-member crew carrying out dredging work near Itu Aba, resulting in injuries while others escaped into the water, he added.

Photo: Chiu Chun-fu, Taipei Times

A multi-vessel team, including the 4,000-ton coast guard patrol vessel Chiayi, assisted in the rescue, the coast guard said, with unmanned aerial vehicles to throw lifebuoys to those seeking rescue. help in the water.

An oil spill was also simulated, in which booms were used to prevent the supposed oil from spilling into surrounding waters.

The coast guard said it was the first time the Chiayi had participated in an exercise, providing remote telemedicine via video consultation with doctors stationed at Itu Aba and Kaohsiung Armed Forces General Hospital.

Commissioned in April last year, the Chiayi is equipped with a medical facility that includes a surgery room, dental room, burn center and negative pressure area, the coast guard said. .

A doctor is also stationed on the ship, who is responsible for managing the transportation of supplies to Itu Aba and Pratas Island (Dongsha Island, 東沙島).

The Coast Guard said it would continue to plan and conduct humanitarian exercises in the South China Sea as part of a commitment to make Itu Aba a base for humanitarian aid and supplies in the region.

Itu Aba Island, the largest of the natural Spratly Islands (Nansha Islands, 南沙群島) in the South China Sea, lies 1,600 km southwest of Kaohsiung and is administered as part of the Cijin (旗津) of Southern Taiwan Municipality.

It is one of two Taiwan-controlled territories in the South China Sea, the other being Pratas Island, located 450 km southwest of Kaohsiung.

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