In its April Edition, Popular Mechanics gives its readers an inside look into the USCG’s Advanced Helicopter Rescue School by enrolling one of its authors to attend the course along with 16 other students. The school, located in Astoria Oregon, is where Coast Guard helicopter pilots and crews receive training in conducting rescues in heavy weather and heavy surf conditions. The course was started to provide specialized skills to Aviation Survival Technicians when dealing with the challenges of cold water, high seas and cliff rescue work.
The one-week course is held eight times a year in the mouth of the Columbia River – an area commonly known as the Graveyard of the Pacific. In order provide the most effective training possible, the timing of the courses – generally in the Spring and Fall – are chosen to take advantage of the most hazardous conditions this region can produce.
Here is a video provided by USCG Imagery of a typical “classroom” excersise: