On Thursday of this week the Balearic CRCS, air sea rescue department, was involved in 11 emergencies caused by the freak storm and high winds, but yesterday the CRCS was out perfecting and improving its rescue skills. A simulated emergency was staged off Arenal in the bay of Palma and involved all of the CRCS's rescue units, the Red Cross, Palma Maritime Authority and the yacht clubs at Arenal and San Antonio de la Playa. But apart from being a training exercise, the man over board operation, which involved a search and then the victim being plucked to safety from the water and flown by helicopter to a rescue vessel, was also staged to highlight this summer's Recreational Vessel Accident Prevention Campaign. Last year the CRCS responded to a total of 273 emergencies involving recreational craft in Balearic waters and since the start of this year, the total number of emergencies has already passed the 100 mark. At the end of last year there were 1.711 recreational craft registered with Balearic marinas and the number rises every year. This year a special instruction leaflet has been published in 17 different languages highlighting the dangers and preventative measures which all recreational sailors should or must undertake. The CRCS and the Red Cross work very closely together and last year the Red Cross, which has its own ambulance, rescue launch and jet ski, attended over 400 emergencies and accidents in the Playa de Palma area alone and assisted the CRCS is a number of searches at sea. CRCS chiefs last night said that yesterday's operation has been a success and that hopefully recreational sailors will take note of the guidelines in the leaflets which are available at all of the region's marinas and yacht clubs.


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