A Multi-purpose Emergency Landing Platform
to Facilitate Law Enforcement
and Rescue Operations
Hong Kong Police Force

Exemplary Services@Gov
2015
JW Player goes here
Only Cantonese version is available for this video

Conducting rescue operations in Hong Kong and neighbouring waters is one of the duties of the Marine Police. Police officers often encounter difficulty landing ashore on remote coasts or islands when conducting rescue operations. The Multi-purpose Emergency Landing Platform (MELP), invented by one of the Region’s teams, now enables quick landings and saves precious time during rescue operations.

A unique landing platform from recycled materials

Open waters account for nearly 60% of the area of Hong Kong, and the city is home to long coastlines and more than 260 islands of different sizes. Many shorelines and islands are rather remote without any regular transportation access. When emergencies occur, police vessels often cannot get close enough to pull in to the shore. The rescue team therefore must resort to finding another way ashore and making a detour to the destination, delaying the rescue operation.

To address this, the team designed a landing platform on their own to increase the efficiency of rescue operations. The MELP is a mobile floating platform that can be towed by the police vessel to a sandbank and act as a bridge to the shore, so that rescue personnel can make easy landings and carry the injured to the vessel. Additionally, the MELP also provides added safety to the rescue personnel and the injured, and prevents unnecessary damage to the police vessel by keeping it off the rocky shores.

With a strong sense of commitment, the Marine Police team handled the whole production process of MELP by themselves by using discarded and reusable plastic floating materials cleverly. The team faced a lot of challenges in the design process. For example, the size of the platform in the initial stage did not fit every police vessel and there were not enough floating bridge materials available. However, with perseverance, the team came up with different designs, collected opinions from various parties, experimented with many models, and finally produced the current MELP within two years.

Multiple purposes, significant results

The MELP can also be put to good use in maritime disasters. For instance, people in distress can grip the ropes along the edge of the MELP to stay afloat while waiting for rescue.

From September 2014 to May 2015, the MELP has assisted lost hikers, capsized or stranded vessels in distress, and helped citizens to escape from danger. The time taken in each of these operations was greatly reduced. In addition to general rescue operations, the MELP can also be deployed during law enforcement. Since its launch, it has been used in operations such as anti-smuggling and arresting illegal immigrants. The landing platform is expected to be promoted to other relevant rescue departments to provide support for crises and emergencies on the sea.

The MELP is easy to carry and can be quickly conveyed by the police vessels to the destination.
The MELP is easy to carry and can be quickly conveyed by the police vessels to the destination.
The MELP bridges police vessels and the shore, saving precious time during landings or boarding.
The MELP bridges police vessels and the shore, saving precious time during landings or boarding.
The MELP not only enables quick landings, but also helps the injured safely board police vessels.
The MELP not only enables quick landings, but also helps the injured safely board police vessels.