In time of need, amateur radio backs up Chile mine rescue
As the world watched via television the rescue 33 trapped miners at San Jose in Chile, giving its support was the Radio Club de Chile (RCCH) to boost the availability of communications in the area. President of the Radio Amateurs of the Region of Atacama (Radio Club Copiapo), Jose Maldonado CE1RXY has reported that support was offered to overcome the lack of communications facilities in this desert region of Chile.
Jim Linton - VK3PC
It provided communication support between the authorities and emergency equipment operators inside the San Jose Mine complex, the ambulance service as well as with family of the trapped miners in the complex and authorities in Copiapo. The mine complex in a desert region did not have telephone contact. Radio Club Copiapo spokesman Erico Jos Andrade CE2EPB said some 80 members of the club were involved from day one of the mine accident.
They installed amateur equipment in the mine complex, and club volunteers took shifts to provide communication support. "This, together with additional mobile police stations, hospitals and fire battalions, kept everyone abreast of all the needs and urgent requirements," said Erico CE2EPB. The support enabled links for various authorities with emergency equipment inside the San Jose site and also with family and authorities in the city of Copiapo.
While this collaboration continued all shared the common hope for the safe rescue of the miners, trapped 700 metres (2,300 ft) below the ground in the cooper mine since 5 August. The rescue of all the miners was successful.
- Jim Linton VK3PC, Chairman, International Amateur Radio Union Region 3, Disaster Communications Committee.
Disaster Communications Committee.
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