HAMPTON, Va. (WVEC) – They're not preparing for what if, but when.

Law enforcement agencies across Hampton Roads are polishing life-saving skills they use in search and rescue missions.

32 law enforcement agencies, 37 boats and 170 men and women came together Thursday for a search and rescue forum in Hampton.

It's part of a week-long training forum hosted by the Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads and the Port of Virginia Maritime Incident Response Team, from classroom instruction to practical exercises.

On Thursday, the Coast Guard demonstrated how they would respond if someone went missing in the water.

Part of training is making sure everyone is on the same page and speaking the same language in the event of an actual search and rescue.

Peggy Britton with Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads said one of the main focuses is building relationships and developing partnerships.

“When that call comes in you know the person, name, and that makes a world of difference to that person out there in the water and their family looking to bring them home,” Britton said.

There will be a mass exercise training on Friday, weather permitting.