Don’t swim near the pass

Last week, Coast Guard aircrews in Houston conducted rescue training at San Luis Pass at the southwestern end of Galveston Island, Texas. From morning to afternoon, the crewmembers hoisted mock survivors to MH-65 Dolphin helicopters in many different ways to simulate the various scenarios they could face on any given day.

Coast Guard aircrews conduct rescue training in San Luis Pass, Texas. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Stephen Lehmann.

Coast Guard aircrews conduct rescue training in San Luis Pass, Texas. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Stephen Lehmann.

The objective was the same as for any other Coast Guard training exercise: to be as prepared as humanly possible for any situation, at any time, anywhere.

The location for the training was specifically chosen for the day’s training. San Luis Pass has a troubling history. In the summer of 2013, four people drowned while swimming in the area. The pass is home to treacherous currents, sudden drop offs and many signs detailing these dangers.

Joining the crews was Galveston Island Beach Patrol. These local emergency responders not only train with the Coast Guard but also support aircrews during real-life rescues.

“Being a good partner with our beach patrol down here on Galveston Island and being able to respond quickly as a team is vital to having a safe outcome to a rescue,” said Cmdr. Scott Langum, a pilot at Air Station Houston.

The hazards of San Luis Pass can be dangerous for even experienced swimmers but allows for challenging training for the Coast Guard’s professional lifesavers. While the Coast Guard is ready to respond, beachgoers should heed the signs: Don’t swim near the pass!

Tags: , , , , ,