At the Surfside condo collapse, what’s the difference between rescue and recovery?

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·1 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

It’s one of the worst building collapses in American history.

The 12-story oceanfront condo partially came down in Surfside, just north of Miami Beach. Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said Friday morning that 159 people are missing and the death toll is up to four.

As efforts continue to find the missing people, leaders are calling it a search-and-rescue mission. They are not calling it a search-and-recovery mission.

What is the difference between those two terms?

According to the National Association of Rescue Divers, “rescue” is the mode the team uses “to find a missing person and only used when there is a chance to save a life.”

And “recovery” is when the team “concludes the missing person is dead.”

In a recovery mission, that means risk to emergency workers for “an all out effort is unwarranted,” according to the National Association of Rescue Divers.

As of Friday afternoon, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue was still on a search-and-rescue mission, tweeting they are using “heavy machinery ... in order to carefully lift and move around debris to access search areas.”

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting