4 Landing Points
4 Landing Points
4.1 What constitutes a 'place of safety' is discussed in guidance paper 2.7. The final act of transfer to it – the actual landing of survivors – is something that needs to be discussed and, so far as possible, planned for. Arrival ashore represents the interface between the sea and land parts of the operation.
4.2 From a maritime SAR perspective, the nearest accessible landing site will usually be thought the best: using it will enable rescue units to minimise the time they have people aboard, and will allow them to go back for more, or to be released from the operation with minimal delay. But the nearest landing site is not necessarily the best from a shoreside point of view. A jetty remote from facilities such as hospitals or reception centres, with limited local shelter or difficult road access merely presents shoreside responders with additional, and avoidable, problems. It will also be the case that, if people can be kept aboard rescue units in sufficient comfort for longer while proceeding to a better-serviced landing site, the shoreside authorities will have more time to prepare to receive them.
4.3 Conversely, landing sites that suit shoreside responders, because of their proximity to reception facilities, for example, may not be best for the rescue units. For ships and rescue boats there obviously has to be sufficient water, and shelter from rough seas. Thought should be given too to ease of disembarkation, of stretcher cases as well as walking survivors, in all weather conditions and at all states of the tide. The different sizes of likely rescue units is a factor here: a deep-water berth alongside a wall may be fine for ships but will not be suitable for small craft from which people can only disembark by climbing ladders.
4.4 Landing sites for helicopters also need to be chosen with the helicopter operators' involvement, to ensure that approaches etc are safe.
4.5 As discussed in guidance paper 2.7, potential places of safety should be identified at the planning stage, bearing the considerations mentioned above in mind and allowing the necessary flexibility to choose the most appropriate site or sites at the time. It may be that several landing sites will have to be used, including, perhaps, sites in neighbouring countries as discussed in guidance paper 3.2.