Coast Guard prepared for Bay emergencies

January 15, 2009 8:01:44 PM PST
The Coast Guard says it is ready in case an airliner goes down in the San Francisco Bay.

To make the point, crews demonstrated a helicopter rescue off Yerba Buena Island Thursday afternoon.

A Coast Guard chopper dropped a diver into the water. Then, the diver helped a mock rescue victim into a basket to fly him to safety.

In a real accident, calls would immediately go out to boats to help with any rescue.

"We would tap into some of the higher capacity passenger vessels, particularly ferries, find out who is available and where they are and we would mobilize, just like was saw in New York," Coast Guard spokesperson Captain Thomas Cullen said.

The Coast Guard has an arrangement worked out with the ferries, as well as police and fire patrol boats around the bay, to help out in case of an emergency.