Sydney's SES took to the Georges River over the weekend to practice night time rescues.


We've supported us through some of our toughest times, rain, hail or shine. The state emergency service is there to help when things go wrong. It's their training that's crucial to our survival during disasters and under the cover of darkness is when most of that training happens. 

Disaster is not just a daytime affair. There are 12 hours of the clock that can shroud danger in the dark of night. And tonight, the state emergency service is practicing dealing with that darkened danger. We're covering people that have fallen overboard, fire drills if there's an emergency on board and just normal navigation skills. 

They are the skillsets that were needed during the floods of 2020 when crews were even forced to swim to make rescue attempts. Those weeks of floods saw more than 16 ,000 calls for help. And so in a bay of the Georges River, the waterway that separates the subtle and shire from the rest of the city, a flotilla of inflatables, punts and launches prepare to let slip their moorings to practice those negotiations at night. 

Very different kind of skills you're trying to operate there. Instead of looking for static objects, you're looking for flashing lights. Across 21 kilometres of watercourse, the crews will need to negotiate to 10 waypoints. Simple obstacles by day can breach a hull at night. 

Hold on everyone. The teams lacing across the water beneath a near full moon, which helps guiding under bridges and past boys. Another checkpoint checked off. While Saturday night is meant for rest and relaxation, it is not so for the SES, rehearsing for rescue taking precedence at any time of the day or night. 

It's a lot harder to see obstacles, things like that, so we have to really be on our game at night time. Mike Dalton, Nine News. 


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