442 Squadron personnel begin the Haida Gwaii medevac operation on the vessel deck. Photo from aboard one of the 442 Squadron aircraft. Photo by Lt.-Cmdr. Kaighley Brett

Comox 442 Squadron carries out two sea rescue missions north of Vancouver Island

  • Feb. 27, 2020 4:30 p.m.

Submitted by Lt. Alexandra Hejduk

Special to Black Press

442 Transport and Rescue Squadron from 19 Wing Comox received back-to-back calls for medical evacuations on the seas of coastal B.C. this week via the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Victoria.

The first took place on Monday, with a patient needing evacuation to Queen Charlotte City on Haida Gwaii over rough seas.

“The ship was about 380 kilometers from Sandspit when we arrived at the meeting point,” said Capt. John McSheffrey, the aircrew commander of the CH-149 Cormorant, one of two aircraft involved in the mission. “The weather was poor, with 300-foot ceilings, less than a mile visibility, and four- to five-metre seas with 55-70 kph winds. The conditions were challenging, and we could see the waves breaking over the front of the vessel. It was a bulk carrier that last departed Vancouver, and we took the patient to Queen Charlotte City. Overall, the mission was a success.”

Later that afternoon, the squadron received another call from Victoria’s Joint Rescue Coordination Centre about another patient in need of a medical evacuation, this time near Cape Scott on the northwestern tip of Vancouver Island.

Meeting the ship on Tuesday morning due to inclement weather during the night, the mission finished smoothly and successfully that morning, and the patient was transported to Courtenay. The two aircraft involved on each mission were a CH-149 Cormorant and a CC-115 Buffalo.

ALSO: 442 squadron rescues survivors of plane crash

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A view of the Haida Gwaii medevac vessel deck from aboard one of the 442 Squadron aircraft. Photo by Lt.-Cmdr. Kaighley Brett

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