Search and Rescue
Search and Rescue (SAR) in Antarctica is a joint effort between the
United States and New Zealand programs. Rescues are coordinated through
the McMurdo Operations (Mac Ops) center using personnel and equipment
from both programs.
Rescues will be initiated upon request, or if a field party fails to
respond to McMurdo or communicate with anyone for 72 hours. Since most
rescues will use VXE-6 fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters, weather delays
may be significant in the event a rescue is launched. Parties in remote
locations should be prepared for a substantial wait before help arrives.
When faced with any emergency, two simple rules apply:
1. Take whatever immediate actions are necessary to preserve life or
prevent further injuries.
2. Then stop and think things over.
The first rule ensures that members of the party are not endangered
unnecessarily. You cannot afford to have more victims than you already
have. The second rule suggests you take an inventory of your situation,
including the assets available (check the listing of survival cache and
hut locations in Appendix B to see if any are nearby) and the skills of
your people -- then come up with a plan.
Above all else you must Think Before You Act!