An RCAF Cormorant helicopter crew was called out to evacuate a middle-aged man from a commercial fishing boat, approximately 80 nautical miles west of Port Hardy early Sunday evening.
Air Controllers at Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Victoria received a call indicating that the man was experiencing a possible medical condition on board the 48-foot vessel and was in need of evacuation to hospital.
The Cormorant crew from 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron took off from their base at 19 Wing Comox and was on scene at just before 5 p.m.
“We talked to the ship and got the crew to clear a spot on the deck so that we could lower our Search and Rescue Technician safely,” said Captain Pierre Faucher. “Fishing vessels are always challenging to lower SAR Techs onto because of the masts, antennas and rigging on board.”
As the Cormorant hovered overhead, the flight engineer operating the hoist lowered the SAR Tech to the deck.
“It was a small area to hoist onto,” said Master Corporal Giles Bagley, SAR Tech. “I went down quick, put a sling around the man for the sake of speed, and with perfect timing, the flight engineer got us back on board the helicopter in no time.”
The helicopter then flew to Port Hardy, where the man was transferred in stable condition to B.C. Ambulance for transport to hospital.
• Celebrating 20 years this fall, the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, a conservation initiative of Vancouver Aquarium and World Wildlife Fund, is calling on Canadians to sign up now at ShorelineCleanup.ca as site coordinators or participants for this fall’s cleanup, taking place on Sept. 21-29.
“Throughout its history, the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup has enlisted half a million Canadians to collect approximately 1.2 million kilograms of shoreline litter – the approximate weight of 259 school buses,” said Jill Dwyer, program manager.
• The HMT Royal Edward spent most of her active service as a passenger ship, plying the waters between Montreal and Halifax. However, upon the outbreak of the First World War, she was requisitioned as a troop ship.
On August 13, 1915, she had just delivered troops to the front at Gallipoli and was heading home when a German U-boat got her in its sights.
The timing was unfortunate, as the crew had just completed a drill and were mostly below decks, storing various pieces of equipment when the torpedo struck.
It only took six minutes for the ship to slip beneath the waves, taking 935 men to a watery grave.