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Vietnam, US join hands in search and rescue drill in Da Nang

Wednesday, July 27, 2016, 16:33 GMT+7
Vietnam, US join hands in search and rescue drill in Da Nang
Rescue units put out a fire on a fishing boat in an exercise that took place in the central Vietnamese city of Da Nang on July 26, 2016.

Naval forces from Vietnam and the United States have participated in a joint training session in the central Vietnamese city of Da Nang.

Crew members of the visiting hospital ship USNS Mercy of the United States Navy and their Vietnamese counterparts partook in a field exercise on disaster preparedness and maritime search and rescue on the Han River on Tuesday morning.

The practice was within the framework of the ongoing Pacific Partnership 2016 (PP16) and observed by ambassadors from the U.S., Japan, and the United Kingdom among others.

Scenarios undertaken during the drill included a fire and an engine breakdown in a fishing boat caused by strong typhoons with wind speeds of up to 100 kilometers per hour, while fishermen aboard were thrown overboard and injured.

The participants were required to complete first-aid procedures on the victims and escort the fishing ship out of danger and back ashore within 35 to 45 minutes of the disaster.


Medics from the U.S. hospital ship USNS Mercy perform first-aid procedures on a victim during the drill. Photo: Tuoi Tre  

According to Ho Ky Minh, vice-chairman of the Da Nang People’s Committee, the training session was an opportunity for participants to exchange knowledge and experience.

“Such exercises are designed to help boost Vietnamese search and rescue units’ ability to command and coordinate with international forces in minimizing the consequences brought about by natural disasters,” Minh said.

The activity was also a chance for Vietnam to strengthen its friendly relationship with the U.S. and other member nations of the PP16, the vice-chairman continued.

The PP16 kicked off in Da Nang on July 15, for the third consecutive year, with the arrival of the U.S. hospital ship USNS Mercy and Japanese Navy ship JSDS Shimokita.

This year's event is joined by representatives from Australia, Canada, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Palau, the Philippines, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Timor Leste, the United Kingdom, the United States and Vietnam, with the purpose of improving disaster preparedness and regional responsiveness.

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