Why Are MNDF Helicopters Not Used For Rescue Hoist Operations?
Helicopters are perfect machinery for search and rescue missions and to carry out medivac flights and are used worldwide by police, military, coast guard, etc.
Airplanes can fly higher and faster however helicopters can slow down and has the ability to decent to a very low altitude and hover on the spot.
This allows rescuers to lift casualties from the scene using a rescue hoist and take them to safety.
One of the most common rescues required in the Maldives is boats in distress out in the sea which is carried out by the coast guards.
Coast guards use ships to travel which would be slower and would have to navigate through rough weather whereas helicopters can navigate around the weather and reach the required location much faster.
Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) operates Dhurv Helicopters which can be fitted with a rescue hoist.
However, the Dhruv Helicopters are mainly used for search flights for lost boats or missing persons at sea and the transfer of passengers needing medical attention.
As hoist operations are not being used it raises the question of whether MNDF is using its machinery to the fullest potential?
Allowing rescue hoist operations from helicopters would cut down rescue time required immensely. Time plays a key role in the survival of people needing medical urgent attention.
It is important to use all available resources especially when it is about dealing with people needing urgent care.
Before MNDF received helicopters and even to this day, it’s common for MNDF to charter airplanes for search missions and medical evacuations from national airline Maldivian.
In case necessary the Maldivian airline’s De Havilland Dash8’s, the DHC6 Twin Otters, and the MNDF Dornier Do228 can be used for medivac flights while the Twin Otter and the Do228 can be used for searches allowing the Dhruv Helicopters to be free to be used for rescue hoist operations as much as possible.