FBI Columbia
Public Affairs Officer Kevin Wheeler
(803) 551-4200
August 4, 2022

FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team Conducts Training in Charleston

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) conducted a four-day maritime exercise in and around the Charleston area this week. During the exercise, special agents based in Quantico, Virginia, conducted specialized search and rescue training in the Charleston Harbor, the intracoastal waterway and off the coasts of Kiawah Island and Sullivan’s Island. 

Specially trained agents honed their rescue skills by deploying from a Black Hawk helicopter, as well as surf-rescue jet skis to rescue role players who simulated distressed, drowning, and injured victims. 

“Charleston is the perfect location for the FBI’s specialty teams to train,” said FBI Columbia Special Agent in Charge, Susan Ferensic. “It is important that we continue to partner with other agencies and organizations so that we are all prepared and work cohesively in times of crisis.”

The FBI has previously deployed specially trained personnel to support disaster relief efforts in Florida, Louisiana, Texas, and Puerto Rico.   The overall safety and success of this exercise relied heavily on both the support and participation from the following federal, state, and local public safety agencies, as well as private organizations:

  • FBI—Columbia Field Office
  • United States Air Force 1st Combat Camera Squadron
  • United States Air Force 4th Combat Camera Squadron
  • United States Coast Guard—Station Charleston
  • National Park Service 
  • South Carolina Department of Natural Resources
  • South Carolina Law Enforcement Division
  • Medical University of South Carolina
  • Charleston County Sheriff’s Office
  • Charleston County Consolidated Dispatch
  • Charleston County Volunteer Rescue Squad
  • Charleston Police Department
  • Charleston Fire Department
  • Mount Pleasant Police Department 
  • North Charleston Police Department
  • North Charleston Fire Department
  • St. Johns Fire Department 
  • Charleston Branch Pilots Association
  • Barrier Island Ocean Rescue
  • Priority 1 Air Rescue
  • Town of Kiawah Island
  • Kiawah Island Golf Resort