EYOS Expeditions and the Canadian Coast Guard collaborated recently on a series of tabletop and real-time exercises regarding yacht emergency operations in the High Arctic. Also joining the exercises at the invitation of EYOS were representatives of the expedition superyachts Legend and Hanse Explorer.

Building Enduring Relationships in the High Arctic

The Canadian Coast Guard looked for collaboration in exercises administered by their MRO (Mass Rescue Operation) officers to target the challenges specific to this region. EYOS saw this as a great opportunity for all partners and stakeholders to contribute to the establishment of a strong and enduring relationship.

Simulated Emergencies Give Way to Practical Experience

As Full Members of the industry body AECO, EYOS have previously participated in Arctic SAR exercises and were delighted to again work in partnership with the Coast Guard. EYOS created a series of simulated emergencies related to the specialist operations they conduct in remote regions.

The simulations developed as tabletop (TTX) and real-time (RTX) exercises. During the exercises a group of participants worked through a scenario via videoconference. This was particularly attractive to the Canadian Coast Guard given the expert knowledge and experience of EYOS in the Canadian North, and the variety of vessels and equipment such as helicopters and submersibles that EYOS routinely works with.

In total, EYOS and the Coast Guard 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 Coast Guard 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 AECO.

EYOS Founders and Ship’s Captains Look Over Charts on a previous expedition

Mutually Beneficial Cooperation

The important role that AECO plays in supporting and coordinating Arctic expedition vessels was emphasized throughout these exercises. Kelvin Murray, EYOS’ Director of Expedition Operations & Undersea Projects, who also sits on the AECO Executive Committee, said, “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.”

An additional benefit to conducting the exercises was to evaluate the level of necessary preparedness needed for private vessels before entering the Northwest Passage. The Coast Guard highlighted that appropriate guidance and support is essential for these vessels and the simulations helped to prepare all parties involved. Earlier this year, EYOS collaborated with SIMWAVE to develop polar navigation courses for nautical officers. As well as our in-depth involvement with AECO, these collaborations and partnerships further demonstrate the commitment of EYOS towards conducting safe and responsible operations in the polar regions.