Civil Air Patrol Volunteers Helping

Those in need of rescuing or recovery

South Carolina Radio Network
September 19, 2018 - 12:27 pm

ID 24753129 © Steirus |


About 100 volunteers with the South Carolina Civil Air Patrol are coordinating flights to help with the recovery after Hurricane Florence.

CAP flights include taking photos, checking flood levels, search and rescue, and assessing damage and infrastructure. Information they gather on their flights are provided to officials at the South Carolina Emergency Management Division Emergency

Operations Center. The teams also assist on search and rescue calls.

“We will be taking photographs of fixed points in flooded areas so that the state can use those photographs to monitor the rising of the floodwaters and then the eventual receding of the floodwaters as they map flood damage throughout the state,” said Col. Lee Safley, South Carolina Wing Commander.

Some aerial photos are taken for FEMA use. They are immediately uploaded to federal officials once the plane lands.

“One of our aerial assets is assigned to be performing photography, including video, of the Lynches River system in the Pee Dee, but that’s repeated through a number of the systems as well as some of the other fixed points like roads and bridges,” he said.

“They are flying also to check dam integrity, different dams in the state,” Safley said. “And they are reporting that kind of information back to our headquarters as well as the state.”

The South Carolina CAP has 10 Cessna aircraft. If the need arises, it can request help from 550 aircraft nationwide.

“We’ve requested two strike teams,” Safley said. “One’s coming in from the National Capital Wing. This would be an aerial photography crew with cameras, aircraft and crew member. Also the Maryland Wing is sending a strike force.”

Safley said the CAP is requesting some larger aircraft from out of state that can carry cargo or more people.

South Carolina’s CAP has about 850 volunteers, 300 of them cadets under the age of 20. Safley said families are allowed to participate in CAP together. To participate, call the Wing Headquarters at 803-822-5470. Click here for more information. 


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