First responders save lives after ferry accident in Ayutthaya

First responders save lives after ferry accident in Ayutthaya

14 Nov 2016

Ayutthaya, Thailand

Ready to respond

First responders trained by Asian Disaster Preparedness Center played a key role during search and rescue operations in Ayutthaya, Thailand. The team demonstrated their abilities after an overcrowded ferry lost control, hit a bridge and sank in October 2016.

The response helped save over 100 lives from the incident thanks to their coordination, determination and preparedness. Sadly, despite these efforts the incident caused 18 deaths and seven people are still missing.

During the emergency response personnel split into three different teams to manage the injured, rescue those still in the water and search for dead or missing people. During the rescue operation, they used life jackets, ropes, and diving equipment they had received from ADPC.

Preparing for the worst

The first responders received their training from ADPC’s Community Action for Disaster Response (CADRE) program, conducted with support from the JTI Foundation in 2012. The course aimed to build community resilience towards flood hazard.

Agencies and participants were eager to boost capacity in the area after the severe Thai floods a year before. Ayutthaya was one of the worst affected provinces during the disaster.

The training targeted community members teaching them how to prepare better and react to emergency situations. ADPC also established a response team to boost resilience in the area as part of this effort.

The team demonstrated their effectiveness when the ferry accident occurred and they reacted immediately to begin saving lives.

ADPC hopes to continue these capacity building activities to help build resilience and create safer communities throughout the Asia-Pacific region.