March 18, 2024

Multi-agency search and rescue exercise to be held Wednesday in South Maui

The County of Maui announced that numerous County, State and federal agencies will be participating in a joint search and rescue exercise this week.

The most visible activities will take place Wednesday, March 20 from 8:30 a.m. to noon at Kīhei Boat Ramp and in the offshore waters between South Maui and the island of Lāna‘i.

A number of personnel, vehicles, watercraft and aircraft will be involved in the operational exercise off South Maui on Wednesday morning, and activities visible to the public will include rescue boats and watercraft that may be close to shore, low-flying aircraft, multiple helicopters, smoke markers and flares.

The public is asked to avoid the Kīhei Boat Ramp area and to refrain from calling the emergency dispatch line to keep phone lines open for actual emergencies.

The multi-agency tabletop and operational exercise takes place every two years over the course of two days, and involves Maui Fire and Police departments, the Maui County Ocean Safety division, the State Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) - Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR), the U.S. Coast Guard, American Medical Response (AMR ambulances and EMTs) and other agencies.

The joint exercise aims to coordinate and execute search and rescue support to test incident response, notification, communicaton and on-scene management.

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