(Canadian Coast Guard/Facebook)

Mock disaster response exercise underway in B.C. waters

A number of organizations are taking part in Exercise Salish Sea 2017, simulating the evacuation of a BC Ferries’ vessel.

Don’t be alarmed if you see a lot more ships than usual plying the waters of the Salish Sea today, it’s just the Canadian Coast Guard conducting maritime training exercises.

Together with the Canadian Armed Forces, Emergency Management BC, British Columbia Emergency Health Services, Public Safety Canada and BC Ferries, the coast guard will be leading a major maritime disaster exercise called “Exercise Salish Sea”.

Starting today and continuing through Thursday, the waters east of Salt Spring Island will be alive with activity as the various organizations help rescue more than 100 “survivors” from a doomed ferry, the Coastal Renaissance, after a fire on the lower deck “disabled” the vessel.

During the live training exercise today there will be a total of 15 vessels and aircraft deployed for the mock disaster exercise.

As part Exercise Salish Sea, the wounded are being taken to dry land on Salt Spring Island for triage at the Fernwood Dock.

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