For local military search and rescue members, the Labour Day weekend meant being called into work.
Emergencies can happen at any time, and 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron at 19 Wing Comox worked with the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Victoria on two successful search and rescue missions on the Labour Day weekend.
“While it was a busy night for 442 Squadron, the coordination between the various organizations led to successful outcomes in both cases,” Captain Danny Schwager, a pilot with 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron, 19 Wing Comox, said in a news release.
The first call happened at night, as the search team had to look for a dinghy lost on the Salish Sea during some turbulent weather. To help with the mission, a CC-115 Buffalo aircraft provided continuous illumination with parachute flares over the water while a CH-149 Cormorant and multiple Canadian Coast Guard vessels, amid strong winds, combed the search area for signs of the lost watercraft. With the light from the flares, the dinghy was found by the Canadian Coast Guard while the boater on board was transferred to BC Emergency Health Services.
In the second mission, members assisted a medical evacuation from Bella Coola by a CH-149 Cormorant helicopter. The morning mission ended successfully, as the patient was transferred to BC EHS in Vancouver.