A major emergency service search and rescue exercise is taking place along the Bay of Plenty coastline on Saturday.
The exercise is to test the readiness and response of the search and rescue sector for a mass rescue event, police said in a statement today.
The second phase of Operation Whakarauora Tangata will see police join with a number of other agencies for a practical search and recovery phase, based around Mōtītī Island and along the shoreline of Pāpāmoa Beach through to Kaituna Cut.
Bay of Plenty Search and Rescue manager, Inspector Phil Gillbanks, said the public shouldn’t be alarmed.
“This exercise will involve actors in the water in and around Mōtītī Island and people should expect to see a significant rescue presence along the beach as the scenario plays out.”
The scenario is based around a boutique cruise ship stranded on the reef and follows a desktop exercise earlier this year.
The exercise will be based out of the Papamoa Surf Lifesaving Club and involve the police, coastguard from Maketū, Tauranga and Waihī, land search and rescue, surf lifesaving, harbourmaster and Hato Hone St John.
The exercise is scheduled to run from 8am to 5pm.