(PNA file photo)
MANILA – The Philippine Navy (PN) on Saturday said it will deploy two water search-and-rescue (WASAR) teams to augment the current inter-agency rescue efforts for flood-affected families and residents of Cagayan.
Lt. Commander Maria Christina Roxas, PN public affairs office chief, said the WASAR-trained teams will come from the Naval Forces Northern Luzon facility in San Fernando, La Union.
“The two teams will be equipped with two rubber boats and other life-saving equipment. Some members of the DRRTs (disaster response rescue teams) are from Naval Special Operations Group-Northern Luzon who have expertise in WASAR Operation,” she added.
These units are now on standby and ready to be deployed upon the availability of air assets and fair weather for their airlift going to Cagayan.
The teams will augment the current AFP DRRTs deployed and spread out in 12 provinces and 31 municipalities in Region 2.
“The deployments of the Navy’s fleet and marine forces for search, rescue, and retrieval operations are part of the Navy’s ongoing efforts to assist other government agencies in responding to our fellow Filipinos being affected by the wrath of Typhoon Ulysses in Region 2,” Roxas said.
Meanwhile, two Philippine Air Force (PAF) Bell 412 helicopters from the 207th Tactical Helicopter Squadron took off from Villamor Air Base, Pasay City Saturday for rescue missions related to flood-battered Cagayan.
The two helicopters were used by the 505th Search-and-Rescue Group to transport two WASAR teams and their equipment.
Equipment ferried by the helicopters consists of spine board, narkit, rope ladder, life vest, buoy can, kernmantle, carabs, pulley, flat web or the utility rope, helmet, short prussic, and assorted personal protective equipment. (PNA)