November 4, 2012

San Fran Chronicle:Coast Guard base preps recruits for daring rescues

EMERY P. DALESIO, Associated Press 
November 2, 2012 

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (AP) — At a new Coast Guard training facility here, rescue swimmers jump from a 12-foot tower into a wave pool as large fans blow 70 mph wind at them. A lighting system produces a night sky and speakers pump out the sound of thunder, creating artificial conditions that help prepare the swimmers for dangerous rescues like the one they carried out when the crew of the HMS Bounty abandoned ship during Hurricane Sandy. 

One sailor was killed when the replica 18th-century wooden tall ship went down off the North Carolina coast, and the captain of the vessel featured in Hollywood films was presumed dead when the search for him ended Thursday. Fourteen crew members, however, were plucked from the roaring Atlantic on Monday by rescue teams of helicopter pilots, hoist operators and swimmers who braved rolling 18-foot waves and 50 mph winds...

Read the full San Francisco Chronicle story here
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