SF first responders participate in ferry accident training exercise

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A number of first responders are on San Francisco Bay, training to save passengers from a ferry boat that's "on fire."

The San Francisco Fire Department says more people are on the bay and recent incidents have placed the focus on the possibility of an accident that could have catastrophic consequences. They wanted to work with other emergency responders to train on what they would do if there was an accident.

ABC7 News shot video of the drill that took place on Wednesday.

In the video, one of the Golden Gate ferries shoots out large plumes of thick, grey smoke due to an engine fire. The fire moves rapidly to the top deck, forcing passengers to jump into the bay.

The water is cold and many of the passengers cannot swim.

Remember, this is a drill.

More than 40 passengers have injuries ranging from smoke inhalation and burns to broken bones.

SFFD says working with other first responders is key to being ready should tragedy strike.

"Communication is always a difficult thing when you get inter-agencies working together, so this drill is to find those areas that we need to improve on, even strengthen the areas that are already strong and create a good working network with the other agencies that depend on one another," Batt. Chief Rudy Castellanos said.

The U.S. Coast Guard, Golden Gate Ferry and National Park Service were also there together with SFFD to make sure that communications work, especially after recent incidents.

Not only was there the tanker that hit the Bay Bridge, there was also a ferry accident recently. First responders want to be prepared should tragedy strike because of the increase of people on the bay.
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