The event will be the sixth Rescue Swimmers’ Meeting to be held since the event’s launch in 2009, as well as the first after a four-year hiatus caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The Meeting’s theme is ‘operational longevity’.
The Meeting will allow rescue swimmers from around the world to share their operational experiences ‘in the spirit of professional development’, say the organizers. The event will also allow rescue swimmers to interact with ‘industry equipment experts, such as Lifesaving Systems Corp, Ursuit and Liteflite’, and to see the latest equipment and innovations in the helicopter search and rescue (SAR) field.
The event will also feature both static and aerial demonstrations of the EH101 Merlin and AW 109 Koala, in collaboration with the Portuguese Air Force (FAP) and aircraft manufacturer Leonardo.
In a statement, the European Rescue Swimmers’ Association said: “With Portugal having a SAR region of five million square kilometers, stretching far out into the Atlantic ocean and covering the Azores Islands, the Merlin is an ideal aircraft for the long-range missions often required in the challenging conditions of the North Atlantic. Such missions and others that have occurred since the last meeting, provide great topics of learning for members to debrief, discuss and learn from.”
The event will also allow members to hear from osteopaths, physiotherapists, and psychologists on the best way to maintain a healthy mind and body while undertaking the ‘sometimes stressful’ profession. Members will also hear from fellow rescue Swimmers, who will be sharing their own personal experiences or sharing the extensive research they have conducted on improving and maintaining mental and physical health in the Rescue Swimmer role.