A real rescue at Port Choiseul

There was a training exercise simulating an aircraft crash on lake Geneva yesterday evening. The airport rescue boat based in Port Choiseul was recently used for a real rescuel.


According to the TSR1 teletext, yesterday evening, 13 September, there was a training exercise simulating a forced landing (crash?) of an aircraft on the lake just out from Versoix. I happened to be just near the hotel "La Réserve" when a small convoy of red airport vehicles (ambulances and fire engines) came off the autoroute at Bellevue at around 7pm, so this was not a surprise for me.

At the port, right next to the buvette, there is a hangar in which is kept a rescue boat belonging to the airport. It is certain that this boat, which has two powerful engines and on-board rescue gear, would have been involved in this exercise. By pure chance, I saw this boat some days ago when it carried out a real, though trivial, rescue mission.

This came about because the motor boat refuelling station is just a few yards from the hangar, so that when the rescue boat has slid down the permanent rails onto the lake, yet is still inside the harbour, it is already at the refuelling station. On the day that I saw it, a motor boat which had come to refuel was unable to restart its engines, so was embarrassingly stuck (and preventing other boats from refuelling).

005.JPGThe airport boat was actually returning from an outing on the lake, so its crew realised what had happened, threw a line to the stranded motor boat and then towed it to a mooring point, probably one of several which have very recently been created specifically for short-term visitors. It then returned into its hangar (and I trust that its crew of two celebrated with a glass of wine!)


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