Sailor rescued off Bamfield

Shipping News

  • Mar. 4, 2011 12:00 p.m.

Able Seaman Matthew Telfser is treated aboard Cormorant helicopter.

When one of its sailors went into an anaphylactic reaction Monday, the crew of HMCS Ottawa called for help.

That distress call was answered by a Cormorant helicopter from 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron at 19 Wing Comox. The team was given the mission of evacuating the sailor from the frigate, which was conducting sea trials near Bamfield.

Medical staff onboard the ship determined that Able Seaman Matthew Telfser required higher medical care after treating symptoms of a severe allergic reaction. 

The Search and Rescue Lifeboat Cape McKay from Bamfield was first to reach the frigate. The crew picked up Telfser and brought him to an abandoned airstrip, where the Cormorant was able to land. The Cormorant returned to Comox, where personnel from BC Ambulance transported Telfser to hospital. 


• Sailors on board the Halifax-based frigate HMCS Charlottetown said goodbye to their loved ones as they set sail Wednesday for the coast of Libya.

The ship is tasked with assisting in the evacuation of refugees from the war-torn country and could be used to enforce sanctions against the Libyan regime.


• A fisherman is lost and believed drowned after disappearing from his watch on the commercial fish boat Golden Ocean in Fitz Hugh Sound south of Bella Bella in the early morning hours of Monday, Feb. 21.

The Bella Bella RCMP, RCMP West Coast Marine Services, Canadian Coast Guard and the Canadian Forces conducted a 14-hour nautical search of Fitz Hugh Sound in attempt to locate 42-year-old Franklin Russ of Port Hardy.  

Russ was last seen when he took over his watch at the helm. At shift change, approximately four hours later and 15 miles further south, the vessel skipper awoke to find Russ missing. 


Wreck of the week

When the USS Congress burned to the waterline on March 8, 1862, it marked the beginning of the end of the age of wooden ships.

Launched in 1841, the 179-foot USS Congress served in the blockade of Montivedeo in 1844 and served as flagship of the Pacific Squadron during the Mexican-American War. 

When the American Civil War broke out, USS Congress helped maintain a blockade of southern ports, anchoring off the coast of Virginia.

It was there that the mighty ship came under attack by the Confederate ironclad, CSS Virginia, along with five other small ships. She exchanged broadsides with Virginia, but slipped her moorings and ran aground.

Realizing their advantage, the Confederates pressed home their attack, bombarding the ship from a distance, killing 120 men, including the captain. On fire and unable to bring her guns to bear, Congress struck her colours, but Virginia began firing incendiary shells, burning her to the water’s edge and exploding her magazine.


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