Canada wraps up multi-agency maritime incident exercise

Canadian Coast Guard and armed forces have concluded exercise Salish Sea, a maritime disaster exercise which took place in British Columbia.

Salish Sea is considered to be the Canadian Coast Guard’s largest exercise ever with participation from Canadian Armed Forces, BC Ferries, BC Emergency Health Services, Emergency Management BC, BC Ministry of Environment, Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue and Public Safety Canada among others.

Exercise Salish Sea 2017 is designed to help agencies and responders inter-operate in a simulated real-time environment. The scenario tested how agencies would work together in a large-scale marine emergency ranging from a mass casualty evacuation to the environmental response that follows such an incident.

The first day of the exercise simulated a fire on BC Ferries’ M/V Coastal Renaissance, requiring passengers and crew to evacuate.

On the second day, October 26, CCGS Bartlett simulated the ferry near Salt Spring Island for the marine environmental response portion of the exercise. An incident command post, to oversee the coordination of the simulated clean-up efforts, was organized by Coast Guard at the Institute of Ocean Sciences in Sidney for the day.

“As Commander of Joint Task Force (Pacific) I recognize the importance of maintaining a high state of Search and Rescue readiness for British Columbia’s busy territorial waters. Exercise Salish Sea 17 affords JTF(P) the unique opportunity to train in a realistic scenario alongside our federal and provincial partners and community stakeholders,” commented Rear-Admiral Art McDonald, Commander, Joint Task Force (Pacific), Canadian Armed Forces.