Seoul, Feb 4 – A team of elite South Korean Air Force rescuers conducted cold-weather drills in a central county earlier this week to practice locating and lifting a pilot in distress out of icy waters, highlighting their rallying cry: “We will rescue you without fail”, officials said Saturday.
Some 40 personnel from the Special Air Rescue Team (SART) of the 6th Search & Rescue Air Group joined the drills at a reservoir in Jincheon, 91 km southeast of Seoul, on Friday, reports Yonhap News Agency.
They mobilised HH-32, HH-47 and HH-60 choppers.
The focus of the training was the speed at which the pilot is lifted from waters in sub-zero temperatures, the armed service said, as one can survive for around 15 minutes in such freezing temperatures.
From each chopper, several well-trained rescuers jumped into the frigid waters to search for and rescue the pilot in the reservoir.
During the training, they used various pieces of equipment, including a hoist and a stretcher.
Their mission ended with a set of emergency procedures, such as checking the rescued pilot’s health conditions and sending the pilot to a nearby military hospital.
“As we have the slogan, ‘We will rescue you without fail’, I want to give the pilot and other comrades the conviction that we will come to their rescue,” a member of the rescue team was quoted as saying in a statement.
To become a SART member, one should go through a one-year training program to conduct various special missions, including airborne and underwater infiltrations, as well as emergency medical procedures.
The SART members engage in various peacetime missions as well, such as rescuing people from an aviation accident and supporting disaster relief operations.