Swift water rescue teams train on Pearl River rapids - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Swift water rescue teams train on Pearl River rapids

PEARL RIVER COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -

First responders from throughout Mississippi spent the day Tuesday practicing "swift water" rescue skills on the Pearl River.

The Mississippi Office of Homeland Security hosted the training exercise.

Such specialized skills are a valuable resource during floods and other high water emergencies.

The rapids at the Pearl River water diversion, known by the locals as "Wilson's Slough", is the perfect training spot for swift water rescue teams.

First responders in the water used their "passive swim" technique, to survive if they're thrown from a boat, while team members on the bank practice their rope toss rescues.

"Isaac proved that we really need some swift water assets. We had large amounts of swift water into our state when the creeks and rivers were swollen due to torrential downpours from the storm," said Danny Manley, with the Mississippi Task Force.

Along with serving on the task force, Danny Manley is Pearl River County's emergency manager.

"When the storm came in, we had three simultaneous calls going on, people on top of their vehicles that were stranded. They thought they could make it through; the water was barely over the road. And before they knew it, they had water in their vehicles and they were on top," he recalled.

Once taught, these swift water skills require frequent refreshers. Ironically, one such follow-up course happened just days before Isaac.

"Right before Isaac, we had just finished up a week long swift water refresher for all the swift water technicians in the state. So we finished up on Friday, and by Monday, some of those elements were deployed to the coast, Hancock County, Jackson County, Pearl River County, executing rescues," said Byron Thompson, the deputy director for the Mississippi Office of Homeland Security.

These Mississippi swift water teams are deployed wherever they may be needed.

In fact, there's a team in Maryland now, assisting with high water rescues from the flooding caused by Sandy.

"These teams are available to help anyone, anywhere in the country, at anytime," said Thompson.

The training exercise continues for several days. The first responders have set up a base camp at Walkiah Bluff Water Park in Pearl River County.

Copyright 2012 WLOX. All rights reserved.

  • NEWSMore>>

  • Ocean Springs resident concerned about family in Puerto Rico

    Ocean Springs resident concerned about family in Puerto Rico

    Thursday, September 21 2017 6:54 AM EDT2017-09-21 10:54:07 GMT
    Gloria Perez watches for any news from her hometown in Puerto RicoGloria Perez watches for any news from her hometown in Puerto Rico

    Ocean Springs resident Gloria Perez awaits any word from her family in Arecibo, Puerto Rico. Perez, who came to South Mississippi 24 years ago, spent her day Wednesday watching the television, hoping for news following the landfall of Hurricane Maria. She last spoke to her family Tuesday night. 

    More >>

    Ocean Springs resident Gloria Perez awaits any word from her family in Arecibo, Puerto Rico. Perez, who came to South Mississippi 24 years ago, spent her day Wednesday watching the television, hoping for news following the landfall of Hurricane Maria. She last spoke to her family Tuesday night. 

    More >>
  • Mississippi fighting opioid crisis

    Mississippi fighting opioid crisis

    Wednesday, September 20 2017 6:19 PM EDT2017-09-20 22:19:59 GMT
    In 2016, Mississippi saw at least 211 deaths from drug overdoses. (Photo source: WLOX)In 2016, Mississippi saw at least 211 deaths from drug overdoses. (Photo source: WLOX)

    Psychologists from around the state are on the coast for the 2017 Mississippi Psychological Association Convention. Included on the agenda is what public health officials have called an opioid epidemic.

    More >>

    Psychologists from around the state are on the coast for the 2017 Mississippi Psychological Association Convention. Included on the agenda is what public health officials have called an opioid epidemic.

    More >>
  • Could oyster sack limit hurt local restaurants and businesses?

    Could oyster sack limit hurt local restaurants and businesses?

    Wednesday, September 20 2017 6:29 PM EDT2017-09-20 22:29:08 GMT
    To keep up with the demand, Quality Seafood’s business manager says they buy them from neighboring states. (Image Source: WLOX News)To keep up with the demand, Quality Seafood’s business manager says they buy them from neighboring states. (Image Source: WLOX News)

    Quality Seafood in Biloxi sells oysters year-round. To keep up with the demand, they buy them from neighboring states but always look forward to snagging the local ones.

    More >>

    Quality Seafood in Biloxi sells oysters year-round. To keep up with the demand, they buy them from neighboring states but always look forward to snagging the local ones.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly