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When lives are on the line, Navy Aviation Rescue Swimmers answer the call. These brave men and women embody the courage of America’s Navy – often going into harm’s way to complete their rescue missions in some of the most extreme environments imaginable.
As an Aviation Rescue Swimmer, you will be part of a tightly knit group, dedicated to being the top emergency response unit in the world. You’ll put the lives of others before your own – applying your intense physical and mental training to challenging real-world situations where there’s often no margin for error.
While Search and Rescue Swimmers are associated with a ship, Navy Aviation Rescue Swimmers are attached to an aircraft. This means that Aviation Rescue Swimmers jump out of a helicopter into extreme conditions to complete their task, while Search and Rescue Swimmers work from a Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat. Their starting point may differ, but their mission remains the same: save lives in a time of crisis.
Without hesitation, you must be prepared to enter the most treacherous conditions to provide recovery and relief to those in need. That could involve jumping from hundreds of feet out of helicopters into the ocean. Using your search and rescue swimming skills to ensure safety, or using evasion, resistance and escape techniques to save those in need.
Some of the many duties you may have as an Aviation Rescue Swimmer include:
* Saving pilots of downed aircraft, people aboard stranded or capsized vessels at sea, or even hikers and mountain climbers in danger on land
* Rescuing civilians during natural disasters and collaborating with other forces, such as the Coast Guard during the joint rescue missions that saved thousands of lives in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Rita and the tsunami in Indonesia
* Working as a Crew Chief on a helicopter, making sure the rescue swimmer and the pilots’ actions are in sync
* Delivering aid and supplies to other countries in humanitarian operations
* Providing support to Naval Special Warfare Operations
* Conducting surveillance in anti-submarine warfare and drug interdiction operations
No college degree is required to become a Navy Aviation Rescue Swimmer, but a high degree of difficulty and satisfaction come standard with nearly everything you’ll do. Training is tough and ongoing.
For more information about opportunities to serve as an Aviation Rescue Swimmer, visit www.navy.com/air-rescue.