Brick lifeguards in multi-agency drill

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Anthony Costanza giving compressions as fellow lifeguards and Brick EMTs stand by. Brick Township Lifeguards boat rescue training in Brick, NJ on 8/7/18. [DANIELLA HEMINGHAUS | THE OCEAN STAR]

BRICK TOWNSHIP — Lifeguards in Brick took part in training exercises Tuesday for something they hope never happens: a collision of a personal watercraft with a boat.

On Tuesday morning, around 40 Brick lifeguards assembled on Brick Beach III to participate in the drill along with members of the U.S. Coast Guard, NJ State Police, Ocean County Sheriff’s Department, Brick Township Police Department and Brick Township EMS to test how well these agencies could collaborate in the event of such an accident.

“This is our second year doing this type of drill, the scenario always changes, of course, but it is our second time doing it with these guys,” said Dan Santaniello, superintendent of the township’s Recreation Department.

“Knowing that we have all these resources and back up, we are planning, God forbid if these things really happen, we need to work and get familiar with the boats.”

That familiarity is key, according to Mr. Santaniello, as lifeguards need to be accustomed to water rescues including large support vessels in the event of a major accident.

“Last year for instance, when the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter [a rescue and patrol vessel] was pulling up to our lifeguards half of them were like, ‘Oh my God look at the size of this boat!’ The adrenaline of seeing that boat approaching while they’re swimming is scary so it’s good to get familiar with what resources are going to be coming.”

For more on this story, read The Ocean Star—on newsstands Friday or online in our e-Edition.