DMR trains patrol officers to survive water emergencies

SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources hosts a drill training class once a month to educate their Marine Patrol officers on survival skills. Training coordinator Patrick Levine says it's important for these officers to do their job and return home safely.

"We look at officer's safety. The number one thing at the end of the day, we want to make sure these guys get home," said Levine.

The training class starts off with the officers getting the basics of their new technique in shallow water. They then move to the deeper end of the pool, to really take on their drill challenge.

"Tonight we're looking at drown proofing, we're looking at water survival safety. What happens if you're out there and an accident happens, you end up in the water. What can you do to survive?"

The unusual trick the officers learn is how to turn their pants into a floatation device. Levine says the idea of this is to have the officers prepared for similar situations.

The drill calls for the officers to get in the pool, fully clothed, as if they were out on duty. They then take their pants off and use them as a life preserver.

Reserve Lieutenant Brian Moore says these classes and drills are important so the officers know how to react if they ever end up in this type of situation.

"How to stay alive, floating for long durations. Just in case I have to. Hopefully I'll never have to," said Moore.

"It's important to continually train in the water, in the event of an emergency," Levine added.

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