Rochester, N.Y.—Combine the warmth Rochester experienced last winter with the turnover in staff for the local U.S. Coast Guard office, and only half of its current crew has been trained for winter water rescue.
For nearly two hours Tuesday morning, Coast Guard members practiced various drills and techniques for rescuing people in open water. The crew trains inland at Durand Pond, in addition to open water rescue.
“It makes us all aware of how difficult it can be,” said Aimee Ortiz, a Coast Guard crew member.
“The hardest part is really transitioning the victim,” said Ryan Taylor, a Seaman. “Getting out there is very dangerous because we can fall through [the ice].”
Crews have been practicing drills in open water in recent days and hope to continue so they’ll be fully prepared to help when called.
Neither the Coast Guard nor has Monroe County Sheriff’s Office been called to respond to a person falling through the ice this season, according to spokespeople for the respective organizations.