The coast guard keeps an eye on the sea

Coast guard

Seacoast 2024 Exercise

On 2 July 2024, the annual exercise for the appointment arrangement drowning persons took place at Bredene.

Emergency services and press gather around the buried child in the dunes.

The objectives prioritised for the exercise codenamed 'Seacoast 2024'are:

  • Testing the appointment arrangement rescue on the Belgian coast - version 15 June 2024 (green period - i.e. during the opening of the beach rescue services).
  • Testing the alerting of the intervention services involved.
  • Testing the mutual communication between the services involved on land, at sea and in the air.
  • Testing the build-out of the command post in the field: this houses the emergency services involved who jointly coordinate the rescue operation.

During the first scenario where two children are playing in the dunes of Bredene (west of rescue post 2), they dig a deep well in the sand there. The well closes and one of the 2 children is almost completely covered in sand.  The second child runs to his mum to tell her this. The child does not remember exactly where in the dunes they were playing.  The mum runs to the rescuers to alert them. The search went very smoothly, the medical team was quickly at the scene and managed to resuscitate the child. Communication was very clear in this regard. With this first scenario, not only are the deployment of the emergency services practised, but the organisation also hopes to draw attention to the risk involved in digging wells.

The second scenario takes place at sea.  A wingfoil collides with a Zodiac with four occupants. On impact, the Zodiac capsizes leaving 1 of the passengers trapped under the boat, the 2 other occupants fall out of the boat and drift away (2 dollops). The 4th occupant of the Zodiac swims to the beach and will notify the beach rescuers.  Before that, an alert to the NC112 occurs for the same incident by a walker on the Spinola embankment.  He saw the 2 vessels collide. He can only say that the vessels are between Fort Napoleon and the Twins Club (distance between the two about 1.5km).  He also saw possible casualties in the sea, but could not say how many persons were involved. In this scenario, there was brief ambiguity about the number of people involved, but after proper questioning of all disciplines from the command post, this too was quickly clarified and then handled correctly.