Re: Desalting kit?

Date:         20 Jan 98 01:29:45 
From:         trevfenn <trevfenn@erols.com>
Organization: Erol's Internet Services
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James Matthew Weber wrote:
> I know in Australia, a drill is conducted annually where a raft,
> rescue beacon  and volunteered are dumped off the coast of Australia
> somewhere with a Royal Australian Naval vessel in sight if needed, and
> the  rescue services are told to find them. It hasn't taken 24 hours
> yet....
>
> The major problem area was the Indian Ocean, however apparently the US
> has significant rescue capability at Diego Garcia.

I wouldn't hold Australian practice drills up as a good example of
search and rescue capability.  Despite a few successes in this area,
history is littered with search and rescue disasters.  The one which
springs immediately to my mind was the pilot of an Aerocommander twin
which had to ditch in Bass Straight, a relatively narrow stretch of
water between the island state of Tasmania and the mainland. When this
aircraft went down and a search began the pilot was actually found by an
airline aircraft but was later lost due to beaurocratic bungling.  For
example the Piper Navajo which was obtained to go out and drop survival
equipment to the man in the water was denied clearance to fly with the
door off because it did not have a placard on the instrument panel
directing the pilot to special procedures in the flight manual for
operations with the door removed.  Surely in an emergency situation the
authorities should have spoken to the pilot and briefed him on the
procedures and let him go. But no, a man had to die for the lack of a
piece of paper.

Just my 2 cents worth, and yes I am Australian.

Trevor Fenn
trevfenn@erols.com