TALLINN - During the Baltic Bikini 2021 naval rescue exercise held in Parnu Bay this week, Baltic air force personnel practiced actions in the event of an emergency landing at sea.
As part of the exercise, the air force personnel were lifted into the sea in a helicopter cabin simulator, where they had to use their marine rescue equipment to climb out of the cabin and swim to the surface, military spokespeople said on Friday.
In the next stage of the exercise, the teams had to swim to rafts and wait for rescuers. A rescue helicopter of the Police and Border Guard Board then winched the airmen onboard and delivered them to the shore.
"As an accompanying task, they practice how to keep warm in colder weather. Some will also get to repair the raft today by patching the holes and re-inflating the raft," said Capt. Margus Arm, the commanding officer of the exercise.
The exercise began on Aug. 24, when the Air Force members once again went through the basic know-how related to maritime rescue. After that, they did various practical exercises at Reval Maritime School and on Parnu River, and the drills culminated in a final exercise in Parnu Bay.
In addition to the Police and Border Guard Board, the Air Force also included the Navy's command and support vessel Wambola and divers in the exercise. Throughout the exercise, the divers ensured medical safety for the participants.
Baltic Bikini is an annual maritime rescue exercise held since 2004, which involves Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian air force personnel. The last time the exercise was held in Estonia was in 2018.