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Chapter 21
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!

The Appendicies.


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