Search and Rescue Operations Exercise Argonaut 2017 continued on Thursday and the scenario provided for a severe maritime accident at open sea on a passenger ship.

Search and Rescue Operations (SAR) as well as medical evacuation operations were carried out, in order to locate and rescue people in distress.

A press release circulated to the media by the Joint Rescue Coordination Center in Larnaka says that ten Air SAR  and twelve Naval Units as well as personnel of the Republic of Cyprus as the Host Nation, Greece, France, Arabic Republic of Egypt, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America, participated in the SAR PHASE of the Exercise “ARGONAUT-2017”, under the operational control and coordination of the Joint Rescue Coordination Center (JRCC).

The coordination of the operations as well as the Crisis Management during the SAR PHASE, were carried out from the newly established Coordination Center, “Zenon”, at which the «Crisis Management Coordinating Team» was summoned, consisting of representatives of all the involved State Services of the Republic of Cyprus and is responsible of dealing with the SAR incidents of Massive Rescue of civilians transported on ships from war zones.

The JRCC Larnaka, the participating services of the Republic and the aeronautical means and personnel of the participating friendly states have shown their high level of preparedness in order to deal with any unforeseen situation or SAR incident in case of crisis and evacuation incidents from the Middle East or emergencies that might occur during activities on hydrocarbons within the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Republic of Cyprus.

It is worth to be mentioned that during the exercise, a field trial of the Unmanned Air Vehicles and systems for detecting shipwrecked persons, of the ongoing European program “Lynseus 2 Market”, was executed. Additionally, the Coastal Surveillance System of the JRCC was activated for the first time, exploiting the thermal cameras that are installed on the SUV vehicles, as well as and the unmanned air vehicle.

The exercise continues tonight with the Night scenario, dealing with severe accident involving a Civilian Passenger Aircraft ditching at open sea, during the transportation of civilians from a State in crisis in the Middle East, to Larnaka International Airport.

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