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Westbrook Beach was inundated with flashing lights and sirens this morning as a massive cooperative emergency simulation took place.
Organised by Airports Company South Africa (ACSA), the exercise simulated a commercial airliner crash landing into the ocean.
Emergency services knew the exercise would take place this month, but only received the notification of the “crash” this morning, before rushing en mass to the site.
Multiple emergency agencies, law enforcement, disaster management, firefighters and more were on hand to gain proficiency working together in the event of such a tragedy.
There were helicopters and drones sweeping the air, jetskis and boats in the water, literally hundreds of personnel, numerous fire trucks and even the Ethikweni Disaster Management command and control centre bus.
Volunteer ‘victims’ of the crash were rescued out at sea, all along the beach and on the rocks where they ‘washed up’ after the crash.
“On a vast scale like this, teams need to pull together,” said IPSS Medical Rescue’s Paul Herbst.
He said the value of such exercises could not be overstated in preparing for the possibility of a real emergency of this magnitude.