Rescue at sea, on land and in the air: the Franco-Canadian operation Sarex 2023 aims to improve security

The SNSM, Fulmar, volunteer firefighters, SPM Ferries teams and the Canadian Army are participating in rescue operations this week. A series of life-size maneuvers will take place from May 23 to 26, 2023.

The goal of this new Sarex operation is to streamline interventions on land and at sea. Fire, helicopter lifts, sea launches, coastal rescues: significant local and Canadian resources are devoted to conducting these sometimes dangerous exercises. One rescuer was even almost injured on the first day.

This week is also an opportunity to test the new skills that the various intervention units have acquired throughout the year. For example, firefighters were able to practice a scenario prepared in 2022 during the IBNB internship “Intervention on board ships and boats”. The exercise only mobilized about twenty local rescuers. It was about evacuating a victim during a fire aboard the Jeune France. Céline Latchimy-Irissin and Gaël Ho-A-Sim took part in this maneuver, the first of Sarex 2023:


The Sarex operation is based on the principle of regional cooperation, it defines the framework for the intervention. The scenarios are created by the four months in advance maritime affairsThere marine and the civil security servicevalidated by the Steering Committee, then they are submitted to the Canadian Army.

Rescue efforts are coordinated with JRCC, the Halifax-based rescue coordination center.

Captain Guillaume Geay, Head of the Prefecture’s Interministerial Civil Security Service

Also read: Miquelon firefighters and gendarmes flew as part of Operation Sarex

Last year, the Canadian Army used helicopters and boats. For the 2023 edition, the Le Cormorant helicopter is back in the archipelago along with two crews of eight Canadians for helicopter lift exercises.

For our exercises, communication is the basis of war. [..] There are all radio procedures that are generally conducted in English with Canadians

Captain Guillaume Geay, Head of the Prefecture’s Interministerial Civil Security Service

On the second day, the rotor blades of the yellow and red machine flew over Saint-Pierre. Twelve firefighters from the gendarmerie and two employees of the prefecture were flown out.

This Thursday, it is no longer the helicopter that intervenes, but a Canadian army aircraft. He is employed by the Canadian Coast Guard and is deployed to drop equipment as part of this exercise Sarex 2023.

Also read: The Royal Canadian Air Force unveils previously unreleased images of a parachute drop over St-Pierre and Miquelon

Tyrone Hodgson

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