EYOS Expeditions, the private yacht experiences provider, has collaborated with the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) on a series of tabletop and real-time exercises regarding yacht emergency operations in the High Arctic. Also joining the exercises were representatives from the expedition superyachts Legend and Hanse Explorer.
The CCG requested collaboration on exercises administered by its Mass Rescue Operation (MRO) officers to target the challenges specific to this region. EYOS created a series of simulated exercises related to the specialist operations that it conducts in remote regions. These were developed as tabletop (TTX) and real-time (RTX) exercises, where a group of participants work through a scenario via videoconference. This was of particularly of interest to the CCG because of the variety of vessels and equipment, such as helicopters and submersibles, that EYOS frequently works within the Canadian North.
“These exercises are vitally important in assisting our clients in being as prepared as possible for these incredible, but forbidding polar waters. I’m delighted that we are able to continue this mutually-beneficial cooperation with the Canadian authorities and look forward to future ventures,” comments Kelvin Murray, director of expedition operations and undersea projects at EYOS.
In total, EYOS and the CCG carried out two tabletop exercises and a third real-time exercise. Simulated emergencies involved a vessel dealing with a downed helicopter, evacuation of personnel from a disabled vessel and the management of a grounded yacht beset by ice. Participants included CCG officers, EYOS personnel and field staff, representatives from the government of Nunavut, captains of Hanse Explorer, the team from Legend, and the executive committee of the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators, of which EYOS is a full member.
An additional benefit of conduction the exercises was to evaluate the level of necessary preparedness needed for private vessels before entering the Northwest Passage. The CCG highlighted that appropriate guidance and support is essential for these vessels and the simulations helped to prepare all the parties involved.
In recent years, much has been made of the growing appetite, on the part of superyacht owners and charter guests, to explore increasingly remote and adventurous locations. While these individuals and groups are still very much in the minority of superyacht clients, the demand for such experiences is undeniably growing. However, as emphasised by the work down by EYOS, the CCG and various other industry businesses and bodies, every one of these experiences encompass a far higher degree of risk and, thus, requires far greater preparation. That being said, the rewards promised by such adventures are surely worth the extra effort.
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